By Maureen Okon
Mr Peter Hawkins, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Representative, says the 36 states in Nigeria and the FCT will benefit from its Generation Unlimited initiative.
The initiative which he said is powered by UNICEF and the government of Nigeria would also target girls and persons living with disabilities.
Speaking in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Sunday, Hawkins said that 20 million people in all the states are expected to benefit from the initiative by 2030.
He said that Gen Unlimited aims to connect the youth to entrepreneurship and employment opportunities, thereby, supporting them to change the world for themselves and their communities.
“Nigeria, being the largest African economy has one of the largest young population in the world, and youth unemployment at about 37 per cent, representing an extraordinary opportunity for development and growth.
“It is in view of this that Generation Unlimited is embarking on a mission to reach 20 million youths in 10 years, with quality education, skills, training, employment, and entrepreneurship opportunities.
“The initiative will target girls and adolescents from underserved communities, including those living with disabilities in Africa’s largest economy,” he said.
Hawkins explained that the programme had begun on a pilot scale with two states as the first beneficiaries.
He added that six more states would follow across the geo-political zones, after which the initiative would be replicated across other states in Nigeria.
“The initiative is all about the states, so for the digital platform the two states that we focus on at the moment are Lagos and Kano, then we will expand to six states in each of the geo- political zones.
“Then other states like Edo which is fertile for Generation Unlimited objectives.
“This can allow us bring in the platforms and the architecture of Generation Unlimited for young people to go through over the next 10 years of a process of educational skills development and entrepreneurship.
“All 36 states would be involved in the initiative. This is not just for the federal level but we are trying to get to the people at the local level.
“So that we can engage young people in the communities, local government areas, capitals and in the states to know the importance of Generation Unlimited.”
According to him, that is why I talked about Lagos and Kano, but all the 36 States would be involved as we progress,” he said. (NAN)