By Alexander Johnson Adejoh
The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare, reaffirmed that his administration will continue to pay equal attention to the affairs of Nigerian youths in equal measure as it gives to sports in the country.
Dare said since he assumed office as youth and sports minister, he has initiated several programmes and schemes to support the dreams and aspirations of Nigeria’s youth, recognising the fact that the youth are the livewire of the country.
‘When I assumed office, I realized that there was a gap that needed to be filled in the level of attention given to the youth in relation to sports. We had to develop a template for youth development and we swung into action’.
‘We secured funds to the tune of 75 Billion Naira with approval from the Federal Government for the disbursement of 25 Billion Naira per year for the National Youth Investment Fund (NYIF). Over 3,000 youth across the country have benefitted from this scheme and disbursement is still ongoing and it is all in a bid to help provide an entrepreneurship base for our young, vibrant population. The concept behind the building of an entrepreneurial spirit was to facilitate economic prosperity amongst that age bracket.’
Working towards wealth creation, we leveraged on the ICT to further build our digital economic profile, through the organising of marketable digital skills programmes. We went on to put up scholarship schemes, as well,’ Dare said.
One of the achievements of Sunday Dare as the Youth Minister was the first ever National Youth Convention held in Abuja last year. It was a platform that brought youth from all over Nigeria to one room and brainstormed on issues that concerned the population.
The opportunity gave the youth a vista into their role as the future of the country and the need for youth participation in leadership.
On the area of employment, the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development responded to the employment gap in the country by developing the National Youth Policy (NYP), Nigerian Youth Employment Action Plan (NIYEAP), as well as the National Youth Employment Template and the DEEL initiative.
Speaking on the acronym DEEL, which means, Digital Employability Entrepreneurship and Leadership, Dare said ‘the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development under my watch launched DEEL to give Nigerian youth a comparative advantage and a competitive edge in the global employment demand and supply.’