By CALEB AYANSINA
ABUJA – President Goodluck Jonathan , Tuesday, revealed that government will accelerate action on the establishment of the National Youth Development Fund as a launch pad for young people who are aspiring to be self-employed and self-reliant.
The President who stated this at the 1st African Urban Youth Assembly held in Abuja with the theme; ‘Youth And Prosperity Of Cities’ maintained that the fund will not only support youth programmes, but also facilitate a co-coordinated approach to the youth empowerment and entrepreneurship”
Represented by the Minister of Youth Development, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, the President said the process of securing building plan as well as Certificate of Occupancy would be reviewed.
“Government is working towards reducing administrative bottlenecks that make the processing and securing of approval for building plan, certificate of occupancy and other necessary government permits”.
“Government is aware of the serious problems of inadequate housing for our young people and the general populace and is putting up measures to address the underdeveloped housing system, high unemployment, high cost of land and building materials, inadequate planning and poor implementation of housing policies and programmes”. He said.
The President said a visionary society must be conscious of the future of its youths and that there is no doubt that youth unemployment, inadequate housing and lack of infrastructure have compounded the prospects of youth development in sub-saharan Africa, with its estimated 157 million youth.
According to him, “poverty remains a major constraint to the achievement of their full potential. Added to this is an overall lack of material and financial services, including sporadic deficiency in the quality and quantity of basic social services’.
The Representative of UN Habitat, Prof. Oyeyinka Oyebanji in his words said the programme is designed as an avenue for African youth to discuss and identify action on issue of youth empowerment and economic growth.