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We are committed to creating jobs for youths, others, says Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday in Abuja reiterated his administration’s commitment to creating more jobs, with focus on enabling the private sector, targeting more youth population by streamlining priority on agriculture, arts, entertainment, mining and Information Technology.

At a meeting with the participants in Senior Executive Course 42 of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies at the State House, the President said the focus of the group’s research for the year, “Population Growth and Human Capital Development: Challenges and Opportunities’’, was most appropriate in timing, and the recommendations would be fully considered.

“I have no doubt that you have evaluated the theme given to you. I can assure you that many of your recommendations would be considered to further enhance human capital development in the country.

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“Our administration is committed to diligently pursuing investments in people, especially in our youths as well as most vulnerable and poorest members of society. We will study and explore the creative and innovative recommendations in your report and direct implementations as soon as possible,’’ Buhari said.

The President told the participants that his administration had made tremendous efforts at diversifying the economy and reducing heavy dependence on the oil sector for government revenues and foreign exchange earnings.

“We are refocusing the economy on agriculture, agro-processing, arts, entertainment, mining, manufacturing, information technology and labour intensive industries to generate millions of jobs for our teeming youths and able-bodied Nigerians, while gradually integrating the nation’s economy into the global economy.

“This administration developed the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan for 2017–2020, which focused on economic diversification and stabilization, making the business environment more competitive, as well as achieving macroeconomic stability by means of fiscal stimulus and improving the balance of external trades.

“We focused the plan on key sectors such as energy, agriculture, manufacturing and infrastructure, especially rail, roads and broadband networks. We have made considerable progress in food production, especially in rice. We will continue to encourage private capital for infrastructural development through public private partnerships,’’ the President said.

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He listed various programmes initiated to equip Nigerians, particularly the youth, with requisite skills for employment, entrepreneurship, and wealth creation, as the Presidential Youth Empowerment Scheme, N-Power Scheme, Youth Entrepreneurship Support Programme, Graduate Internship Scheme and Youth Enterprise with Innovation in Nigeria Programme.

“In addition, government is implementing the Special Public Works programme to provide employment opportunities to 774,000 youths across the 774 local government areas of Nigeria. We have also recently introduced N75 billion Nigeria Youth Investment Fund, of which N25 billion have been provided in the 2021 Budget. All of these are consistent with our policy of positioning the youth for strategic leadership in different fields of endeavor,’’ Buhari said.

The Director-General and Chief Executive Officer of NIPPS, Prof. Habu Galadima, thanked the President for providing strategic and purposeful leadership for the country in spite of daunting challenges.

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