By Ismaila Chafe
The Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports Development has trained 7,000 youths in the IBM Digital Skill Training Programme in its bid to address youth unemployment in the country.
The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare, made the disclosure while speaking with State House correspondents on the outcome of the Federal Executive Council’s virtual meeting.
The meeting was chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja on Wednesday
“The one that we have started, which really gladdens our hearts at the ministry, which is part of our success story, is the IBM Digital Skill Training.
“As soon as COVID-19 happened, we decided to migrate from an offline platform to an online e-learning platform
“And within three months, with IBM partnership, we have been able to train 7,000 youths. Most of them have received IBM certifications which they can use to work anywhere in the world.
“Right now, over 9,000 youths have registered. Some are half way through their training and that is ongoing,’’ Dare said.
“So, I think youth development in our country and under the ministry of youth and sports development is on a new trajectory and the one that we are looking forward to is the 100 million AfDB Support for the DEEL Programme.’’
On sports development, the minister stated that sports was no longer classified as a recreation but a profitable economic activity.
According to him, the ministry has committedly worked to turn sports into an economic industry, where the country can generate billion of revenues.
“We realised when we came on bound that the National Bureau of Statistics still classified sports as a recreation.
“And when you look around from South Africa to Brazil even to Jamaica, sports is classified as business. It is an economic activity.
“When you look at global statistics it’s a 1.33 trillion dollars industry. When you look at the United Kingdom, it is a 43 billion dollar industry annually. In America, it is 41 billion dollars annually, etc.
“It is only this country that classifies sports as `play – play’ or recreation.’’ Dare added.
The minister stated that the ministry had signed Memoranda of Understanding with relevant organisations and held various inter-ministerial meetings with the sole aim of moving sports as an industry from a mere concept to pure economic action.