Government programmes to boost youths’ employment, says Lai Mohammed
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has said the Federal Government’s investment in social programmes will help accelerate the process of job creation, especially for the youths.
Speaking at a special edition of the Federal Government’s town hall meeting for youths in Abuja recently, the Minister said government places high premium on youth empowerment, youth development and youth engagement, hence the decision to organize the Town Hall Meeting specifically to address the issues.
‘’We have no choice because, according to the National Population Commission, more than half of Nigeria’s population are under 30 years of age! No government can afford to ignore this important demographic group, plus the youths are no longer just the leaders of tomorrow, but today’s leaders too!’’ he said.
Mohammed said the present administration is investing in the social investment programmes that are aimed at benefitting youths. He listed the programme to include N-Power Volunteer Scheme, N-Power job creation programme that provides loans for traders and artisans, homegrown school feeding programme, the conditional cash transfers to the most vulnerable members of the society and the family homes fund, a social housing scheme.
‘’As many of you are undoubtedly aware, 200,000 jobs were created in the first phase of the N-Power Volunteers Programme. Some 300,000 jobs are next in line, to bring the total to the promised 500,000 jobs. These jobs benefit mostly the youths who will be engaged the areas of education, health care and agriculture
‘’Also, the Home-grown School Feeding has already taken off in three states – Anambra, Kaduna and Osun. It is now being scaled up to 11 of the 18 states designated for the first phase. Already, some 25,000 cooks have been trained in 9 states. Concerning the Conditional Cash Transfer, the data of the beneficiaries in 9 states are now ready, and the payment process for those states is in top gear.
‘’For the Micro-credit scheme, more than 1 million Nigerians are set to get loans at very low-interest rates through the bank of industry. The loans range from N20,000 to N100,000. The pilot scheme is taking place in 8 states and here in the Federal Capital Territory,’’ he said.
The Minister disclosed that in order to sustain the social Investment Programme, the N500 billion Naira for the programme has been retained in the 2017 budget, which was recently presented to the National Assembly.
He said on its part, the Ministry of Information and Culture is leveraging on the creative industry, which is youth-driven, to create jobs and unleash the huge potentials of the youths.