The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari said the Nigerian government recognises the need to focus more attention on youth empowerment by creating the enabling environment for job opportunities and capacity building.
He made this known recently at the on-going Global Youth Employment Forum (GYEF) of the International Labour Organization (ILO) at the Sheraton Hotels and Towers Abuja.
The President who was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha, revealed that Nigeria places more value on her youths who represent today and the future, of our nation. He expressed optimism that the event will bring together selected young people from member states of ILO to discuss an issue that is of critical importance to both the young and the old.
Mr. President reiterated the fact that human capacity development, implementation of dedicated programs and technical/financial support cannot be over-emphasized, hence grateful that the ILO has committed itself to Youth employment and the Future of Work in Africa with in-depth understanding of the rapidly changing demographics, the emerging World of Work and the challenges of natural economic stabilities.
He further stated that his administration recognises the creative potentials of our youths and the need to sharpen their global competitive edge. To this end, the Central Bank of Nigeria has introduced the Creative Industry Financing Initiative (CIFI) to improve access to long-term low-cost financing for entrepreneurs to invest in Nigeria.
Earlier in a welcome address, the Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Mr. William Alo, said a growing youth population can provide an important opportunity to expand the labour potential of any country. According to him investing in youth education closes the gender gaps in both labour markets and education.
Alo, further stated that the theme for 2019 GYEF “Today and Tomorrow with decent Jobs for Youth” is apt in the light of the persistent global youth employment challenges and the future of work initiative which the ILO has placed in front burner of international discuss, adding that the future of the world needed rest within the youth who constitute the most productive segment of the global population.
In another development, the Director General International Labour Organisation (ILO) Mr. Guy Ryder said if asked what is the priority of any Ministry of Labour of any country, the answer is, generating work for young people, boosting quality education and a chance to do some decent jobs.
Also he said, 136 million young people are working, they are working extremely hard; yet they are still living in poverty. Those, according to him, are the working poor in Africa. This 60% of young workers are often concentrated in conditions of informality of rural economy.
Deputy Director (Press and Public Relations)