- Youth Ministry, Halogen Splashes N1m Reward On Top 10 Cyber Security Trainees .
The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare has stated that the challenge of youth bulge across the African continent has made it imperative for Governments to do more for youth development and empowerment.
Speaking as the Chief Host at the National Youth Day and African Youth Day celebration tagged ‘Breaking The Barriers to Meaningful Youth Participation and Inclusion In Advocacy’, the Minister cited the various empowerment programmes and the ‘Not too Young To Run’ Bill assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari as part of measures that has enhanced economic and political inclusion for Nigeria’s teeming youth.
According to Dare, “The N-power programme, an integral part of the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP), which has empowered and upskilled over 1m Youth is regarded as the most ambitious social protection programme in sub-Saharan Africa.
“Closely following that is the N75bn National Youth Investment Fund (NYIF), the very first of its kind in our country, approved by the President, two years ago, which has provided credit to over 20,000 young people with the numbers being scaled up to over 31,000 shortly.
“With these NYIF beneficiaries receiving between N250,000 to N3m, Government is investing in their ideas, investing in their small, micro and medium enterprises which will turn them to creators of wealth, employers of labour and also those that can contribute to the GDP of our country.
“But also, we must speak to the political will. Almost three years ago, President Buhari signed the ‘Not too Young To Run’ Bill. That Bill, now an Act of the National Assembly, strikes at the heart of inclusivity at the political level. In about three years, we have seen the number of our youth in elective offices from the local to national level on the rise. We believe that our youth must tap into this opportunity as we move into another election year to become part of the process,” the Minister emphasised.
Throwing more light on efforts to address the youth bulge in Nigeria, Dare revealed a problem of skill and certificate mismatch in relation to available jobs in the country.
“A very telling example is the issue of cyber security experts. We found out at the Ministry that over 350,000 jobs were available for young cyber security experts. In order to tap into this for the benefit of our youth, we went into partnership with Halogen to train 31,000 youth, some of who will be rewarded today for coming out tops and performing excellently in the cyber security training programmes,” the Minister stated.
The highlight of the event was the symbolic presentation of cheques and announcement of N1m cash reward each for 10 youth who scored 100% at the Halogen cyber security training.
The Minister also announced the plan to further partner with Halogen to train 250,000 more youth in the next six months.