Minister of Youth and sports Development Mr Sunday Dare has reiterated the need to have more youth trained in digital skills in order to adress the problem of employment.
The Minister made this assertion at the 2021 Annual Luncheon of Government College, Ibadan, Old Boys Association (GCIOBA) held in Ibadan on Sunday.
The Minister who spoke on Digital Literacy, a Panacea for Youth Unemployment, emphasized the need for improved digital education especially among the youths.
According to him, "There have been focused efforts to close the digital skills gap through a number of digital
capacity building initiatives. Some are ongoing as we speak . Also, ongoing
is the implementation of the Nigerian Youth Investment Fund. Mr President
listened to our arguments about the need to make our Youth develop their Enterprenuership spirit. Despite the
competing needs for resources, the President approved the establishment of the first Youth
Investment Fund ever put in place in Nigeria: N 75 B released over three years.
N25B per annum for three years at 5%, moratorium, capacity building, no
guarantor. The first tranche has been disbursed to applicants across the country
and the second tranche is about to commence. This is what is called putting our
money where our Youths are."
He further stated " It is worthy to note that the importance of Digital Literacy to employability is that
it a necessity to succeed in modern economy. Having the basic digital literacy
skills can enhance the employability of individuals. Most jobs require digital
literacy. In Nigeria, with the high level of youth unemployment, a youth skilled
in basic and intermediate digital skills is more likely to access jobs locally and globally. Opportunities such as outsourcing, digital marketing, software
development, artificial Intelligence, data analysis, IT administration and many
others are job-creating opportunities".
Speaking On the DEEL initiative, he affirmed
"The DEEL initiative is designed to unleash the potential of youth
and to leverage on the youth bulge as a demographic dividend by providing
opportunities for investment in youth innovation and energies through a
coordinated mechanism that will deliver cross cutting benefit".
He highlighted the objectives of DEEL to include; Deliver basic, mid-level and advanced digital skills training for 1 million youth annually; facilitate at least 50,000, start-ups in the ICT sector
annually; upskill youth with digital skills for leverage through digital
solutions in key sectors such as agriculture, power, health, manufacturing,
renewable energy and services. In addition, DEEL will enhance employability of
at least 50,000 youth annually from 2021-2023 through paid internships".
He added "The Ministry’s DEEL programme got Nigerian youth engaged through
Digital Skills, which included Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced training for
500,000 young people. It is also targeting mobile device training for 100,000
youth, aside from the Work Experience Programme (WEP) – internship
opportunities for three months for 5,000 youth. Digital Youth Nigeria (DY.ng)
exposes participants to standard training sessions on global digital roles like
Business Process Outsourcing skills, Software and Coding skills, Animation,
Graphics skills, Internet of Things (IoT), IT hardware skills. The essence is to
grow our abilities in digital services, in view of the increasing realities of remote
living, augmented reality and hypertext documents."
He concluded by saying "It is important to note that increased investment in youth by
the Government, the private sector and development partners is the major path to
ensure that Nigeria is able to harness the advantage of technology to reposition
the economy. The opportunities abound, but we must keep the focus, just like the
Government College, Ibadan, Old Boys Association (GCIOBA), is doing. We
will not rest on our oars in providing quality leadership for not only the youth of
our dear nation, but for the entire citizenry in line with the vision of President
Mohammadu Buhari’s administration".
*Media office of the Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports Development*