Youth ministry creates platform for young people to excel

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By Franca Ofili

The Minister of State for Youth Development, Mr Ayodele Olawande, says the ministry is set with a platform where young people can address issues that affect them and excel.

Olawande told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that the young peoples’ platform would include all youth leaders of ethnic groups.

He said that the platform would be used to ascertain what young people have in their respective areas.

He added that “if we can identify products in your areas that can be used to make or create goods for production, it will be welcomed.

“We can meet with all the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to channel our complaints, for example, the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) gives education scholarship to young people, the youths need to know about it.”

According to him, efforts will be intensified toward improving the National Directorate of
Employment (NDE) training centres to be visible and viable for young people.

On the issue of lack of start-up grant after training, he urged the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) to play its part toward ensuring grants to small businesses and entrepreneurs.

He said “we will let SMEDAN know that some of the youths will need money to start their businesses, while some will need seedlings and fertiliser.”

Olawande explained that in Niger, great farming activities are taking place, noting that the ministry would partner the state government to ensure that young people are engaged.

“Niger produces what they eat and can also produce for people and the governor is doing fantastically well. I will visit my state and do a survey on products that young people can produce and even export.

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“Everything cannot be from Federal Government, if we also put the governors on their toes and work together, we will achieve a lot.”

On the issue of “japa”, where people leave the country for greener pasture, he advised that people should go and learn some skills and come back to the country to implement.

“My advise is that when people leave the country, they should acquire knowledge and come back and develop the country.

“So, if you have the opportunity to travel, why can’t you travel and come back and invest in your country?.” (NAN)(

Edited by Maureen Ojinaka/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu

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