BY KENNETH OMOSIGHO
The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare on Wednesday commended President Muhammadu Buhari for approving the 774,000 jobs under the Special Public Works Programme (SPWP).
He said the flag-off of the project on Tuesday signposts a government committed to the upliftment and improvement of the lives of the mass of Nigeria’s most productive population.
In the kick-off of the programme in Ibadan, Oyo State, the Minister noted the programme, designed along other similar ones being implemented by more developed nations, is a validation that Buhari’s Administration has focus and purpose and is a government that is bold in its actions and committed to programmes that will deal with socio-economic problems.
The Minister, who was represented by the Zonal Coordinator of the Ministry, Mr Ajao Olufemi, stated that, “Across the nation, beginning today, 774,000 Nigerian youth mostly unskilled and semi -skilled, will participate in this Special Public Works Programme (SPWP) for 3 months.
The engagement of this large group by the Federal Government in productive ventures, I believe, is the beginning of a more robust engagement of our youth in national development, he said.
“Undoubtedly, this novel initiative joins a slew of numerous youth programmes already put in place by the Buhari-led administration. This administration’s commitment to youth engagement and development is unparalleled. Yet, it intends to do more partnering with the private sector in a bid to increase the number of the youth population provided with life-changing opportunities.
“We have received the greatest assurances from Mr President, who only a few days ago, on January 1st said this.
“Our young people are our most valuable natural resource, at home and abroad. Their ingenuity, creativity, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit is evident to all. Many of our young people are excelling in various spheres of life including sports, entertainment, information and communication technology, commerce and are globally recognized as achievers.” Dare, said.
The Minister reiterates that government is committed to actively engaging with the creative energies of our young people. In this regard, we will partner with the legislature to develop an enabling environment to turn their passions into ideas that can be supported, groomed and scaled across regions.
According to him, this will create vast opportunities in fintech, agriculture, business process startups and in the entertainment industry.
Dare asserted that Nigerian youth could take Mr. President’s commitment to the bank and that the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development (FMYSD), aligns and commit itself fully to the youth of the country.
He said: “Our commitment is evidently emphasized by the FMYSD-driven Nigerian Youth Investment Fund (NYIF), which has successfully completed its pilot disbursement of loans totaling N165,700,000.00 to 239 beneficiaries ahead of the processing of the over 3,000,000 applications so far received.
“The Fund, approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on July 22, 2020, is being implemented in partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning (FMFBNP) and disbursed through the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) Microfinance Bank (NMFB).
“For all that has been mentioned above, the youth and the good people of Oyo State thank Mr. President for this great opportunity that the Special Public Works Programme (SPWP) provides and look forward to benefiting from similar laudable national projects,” he said.