By Dwelleth Morountodun
The Federal Government over the weekend, called on the teeming unemployed youth in the country to take advantage of the various youth initiatives and programmes of the present administration to empower themselves with agro-allied skills and to become employers of labour.
This became evident especially with the provision of startup packs and other agro-allied equipment given to them by government to become self-employed, job creators and to contribute to national development.
The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare made the call over the weekend in Jos, Plateau State, during the closing ceremony of a two-week national youth in agriculture empowerment training programme.
Represented by the Director, Enterprise Development and Promotion Department (EYD), Prince Momoh Olugbenga, the Minister said the programme which was organized by his Ministry to cover unemployed youth both male and female, within ages 15-29 from the 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The training programme, he said is not only aimed at fostering the creation of wealth through acquisition of agro-allied skills, but also to reduce youth unemployment and restiveness as well as enhance their participation in profitable agro-allied business with a view to boosting economic growth and development in line with the policy thrust of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Administration.
Dare, reiterated further that agriculture and agro-allied business are one of the areas where jobs abound.
“A general survey has indicated and confirmed that agriculture and agro-allied business are one of the areas where jobs and employment opportunities abound and will continue to be relevant and as well play significant roles in the economy of this and other centuries” he said.
To achieve the national goal of wealth creation and employment generation therefore, the Minister said, “there is need to build the capacity of our youth in areas where we have comparative advantage in both material and human resources.”
He explained that tapping into the potentials of the youth could prove a crucial asset for economic development of the country with the acquisition of relevant and marketable agro-allied skills that meet the demands of the 21st century.
The Minister assured that government will continue to invest in the youth by equipping them with various Agro-allied skills such as Fish Processing and Value Addition, Garri Processing and Value Addition as well as Entrepreneurial skills including Financial Literacy Education, access to Micro Finance Facilities so as to enable them start and manage their Agro-allied ventures.
He therefore called on the relevant stakeholders to harness the potential of the youth and mobilize their energies, talents, visions and creativity for the socio-economic development of the country.
In her remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Plateau State Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Mrs. Helen Ishaya applauded the various youth initiatives and programmes embarked upon by the federal government with the view to empowering them for self-reliance, self-development and economic growth of the country.
She said that the empowerment will further reduce the excruciating pangs and pains of youth unemployment which is mainly responsible for the increasing social vices in the country.
The Permanent Secretary called on the youth in the country to put to use all they learnt from the training for the betterment of their lives and also count themselves lucky to be among those chosen from the teeming Nigerian youth as beneficiaries of the programme.
Responding on behalf of the participants, Adedokun Omowumi thanked the Minister and the President for the privilege given to them to acquire the skills, noting that the training has been highly educative and impactful and as such, would not be taken for granted.
She assured that the skills acquired during the training would be adequately invested so as to bring about socio-economic growth and development of the country.