The Federal Government in partnership with the United Nations Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) disclosed that plans are underway to empower 20 million Nigerian youths by 2030.
The initiative according to the partnership will be inaugurated on Monday in Abuja.
The initiative is tagged ‘Generation Unlimited’ and is targeted at 20 million persons between the ages of 10 and 24 out of the country’s 65 million young people.
According to a report by the Country Representative of UNICEF in Nigeria, Peter Hawkins, during an interview in Abuja on Sunday, the initiative is also being replicated in many other countries with 1.8 billion young people targeted around the world, adding that the programmes are specifically aimed at developing the capacity of young Nigerians to be better positioned as leaders of tomorrow.
Hawkins noted that the initiatives which would help turn the youths away from drugs or crime, would assist in equipping them with the right skills, especially with the ongoing global digitization and subsequently they would be able to bring value to the future of Nigeria.
He said, “Nigeria has 65 million people between the ages of 10 and 24, so young people of Nigeria are more importantly the future. That generation would shape the future of Nigeria. What Generation Unlimited is trying to do is to first act as a platform between the government, the United Nations and the International Community and the private sector.
“Out of the 65 million young people, Generation Unlimited is trying to help 20 million of those over the next 10 years to step over the generation that they are in to be able to meet their own ambitions and be valuable commodities in Nigeria.
“What is going to define the future of any country, particularly Nigeria is the digital platform – access to data, access to digital information. It is not only expanding the digital platform but expanding young people’s access to that platform.
“There are initiatives like School-2-School connectivity, looking at how we can bring digital learning into the schools, communities and ensure that young peoples’ skills around digital platforms come to the fore.’’
He pointed out that other areas include education skills on the one hand and employability and entrepreneurship on the other hand with focus on the connection between skills and opportunities for employment and entrepreneurship.
Hawkins also said that the last part was the engagement of young people not only to understand what they want to do but also to create an environment where they are contributing to the future of this country as a voice.
The implementation of this initiative by the Federal Government and UNICEF is a welcome development as it would help provide the required skills and knowledge to the Nigerian youths and ultimately reduce the rate of unemployment in the country.