The Federal Government in its commitment to harnessing the potentials and strength of the teeming jobless and underemployed youths in the country, which is posing threats to national security, has on Tuesday, September 14, launched the ‘Nigerian Youth Employment Action Plan’, an expression of the President Buhari’s led administration stance ‘to continue to facilitate an enabling environment that will create about 3.7 million jobs annually’ to youths across the country.
The FG ‘Action Plan’ which is ‘in line with global realities’ is also geared towards ‘mobilizing the full energies and capacities of the youth in the country, thereby, “minimizing the risks to national security, posed by rising youth unemployment and underemployment.
In a release signed by the Director (Press & Public Relations), Mohammed Manga of the FEDERAL Ministry of Youth and Sports Development on Tuesday September 14, it was revealed that, “The Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Akin Dare, disclosed the FG’s intention to launch the Nigerian Youth Employment Action Plan (NIYEAP 2009-2011).
Mr. Dare who believes the Plan will positively impact youths again, reiterated that, the Youth Employment Action Plan, will help ‘to achieve national development goals, particularly, sustainable economic growth.’
“Youths must and should be regarded as a viable investment that can yield positive benefits for all spheres of our socio-economic progress, rather than a group targeted for periodic empowerment interventions.
Minister Dare opined that,
“… youth unemployment has really assumed an uncomfortable proportion; and that its effect has not only led to frustration on the part of the youths, but also, it is the underlying cause of poverty and youth restiveness in the country.
In Dare’s words,
“It is important to state that the economic and social consequences of youth unemployment transcend the youth group. It has also resulted in missed economic opportunities for the nation. This is because youth inclusion is about skilled human capital, social and economic stability, a vibrant and healthy labour force, which will also engender political stability and national growth and development.”
“It is in realization of the importance of providing opportunities for sustainable economic engagement of youth, he emphasized, that the Nigerian Youth Employment Action Plan is now being presented to stakeholders as a framework which will address fragmentation, promote synergy, mobilize resources, and deliver a comprehensive approach to youth employment interventions, through multi sector collaboration.
The Minister explained that,
“…since his assumption of office, the Ministry has concentrated efforts on moving youth development interventions … with emphasis on Employability, Entrepreneurship Development, Employment Creation and Equality and rights, which he calls 4Es.
Dare said the strategic lines of action under each theme of the 4Es, will embrace sectors that have high job creation potential, such as ‘Digital Economy, Rural Economy, Green Economy, Renewable energy sector, as well as in Manufacturing, Tourism, Construction and Services.’
While calling for public and private sectors partnership, Mr. Dare assured Nigerians that, the Planned Programm will be worthwhile, with benefits useful for the ‘development of our nation and the global community.’
He affirmed that, there would be grassroots youths’ inclusion in the Plan across the 36 States of the federation including the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
In a goodwill message, the UNIDO Representative to ECOWAS and Regional Director, Mr. Jean Bakole, said,
“The launch of the Nigerian Youth Employment Action Plan is apt, and came at a time when the world is facing a worsening youth unemployment crisis; due to the global COVID-19 pandemic that severely affected labour markets around the world”
Mr. Bakole afterwards, “commended the present administration and all stakeholders for collaborating to develop the Youth Employment Action Plan” which according to him, ‘aligns with the SDG goals.’
Adding his voice to the narrative, the Permanent Secretary of Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Nebeolisa Anako, stated that, “the idea of the action plan is to provide kinetic solutions to the challenges of youth unemployment and restiveness through cross-sectoral collaboration.”
Mr. Anako therefore, “solicited the cooperation of stakeholders, towards the full implementation of the action, with a view to enriching the Ministry’s objective.