The minister of Youth Development has disclosed that 108 youths are to benefit from the apprenticeship programme component of the National Youth Entrepreneurial Development Programme in furtherance of Government’s goal of promoting youth employment in the country.
Stating this yesterday at the flag off ceremony in Abuja, the minister who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mrs Rabi Jimeta, said the support scheme was designed with the Commonwealth Office, London to provide the platform for the youths to utilize the opportunities to acquire more practical skills in managing business in identified skills area they were trained for.
He disclosed further that the ministry was ready to follow the process through to the stage where the beneficiaries could start their businesses. He stated that if they were able to submit viable business plans after one month apprenticeship programme, they would be eligible to access micro-credit facilities to be provided by the ministry.
While charging the present 37 selected beneficiaries to be obedient, hard working and committed to the upcoming training programme, Mr. Haruna said the ultimate goal of the apprenticeship/mentoring programme is to produce sets of youths who will build the Nigerian brand in the global competitive market.
He therefore hoped the beneficiaries would soon be able to commence their own business enterprise and contribute their quota to the nation’s economic growth.
The Minister also used the occasion to commend the support of the UNDP in the implementation of entrepreneurship programme, promising to continue to partner with relevant government agencies, the private sector and international development organizations. The Country Director of UNDP, Dr. Pa Lamin who spoke at the occasion lauded the proactive initiative of the ministry over the entrepreneurial development project saying it has the capacity to address the threat posed to Africa because of falling commodity prices in the international market.
He stated further that it is imperative for government to give priority to youth employment reasoning that it might hold the key to resolving issues of unemployment, peace and security which are critical to long term development on the continent.