An initiative between the Buhari administration and the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), offering expanded education, training and employment, targeting 20 million Nigerians from ages of 10-24 years, between now and 2030 will positively impact the country’s future job growth enabling programmes, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.
Prof. Osinbajo disclosed this Monday in a pre-recorded message delivered at the official launch of the Generation Unlimited (GenU) programme in Nigeria, a global multi-sector partnership that was initially launched in September 2018, in collaboration with over 200 partners. The programme has impacted more than 100 million young people globally through innovations and programmes in more than 40 countries across six continents.
In line with its job creation agenda, the Federal Government has over the past few months engaged multilateral agencies and the private sector in creating special opportunities for young Nigerians.
Besides, the opportunities created through the ongoing Economic Sustainability Plan, only last month, the administration in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme, UNDP and other private sector partners announced a 20,000 yearly graduate job fellowship called the Nigeria Jubilee Fellows Programme, NJFP aimed at equipping young Nigerians with skills and experience required for the workplace.
Speaking on the GenU programme, the Vice President said “this program is important because it promises to provide 20 million Nigerians with digital skills, link them to entrepreneurial and other job opportunities and assist them in realizing their full potential.
“Over the next couple of years, we will provide digital learning, employment, entrepreneurship and engagement for and with 20 million young Nigerians. This process is not only significant for our socio-economic development as a nation in the coming years but also provides a learning asset for developing future job growth enabling programmes.”
According to him, “Nigeria has one of the world’s largest young populations. And it bears repeating that our country’s youth are the nation’s present and indeed its future. The cost of failing to invest in them is quite simply, unimaginable.
“So, we are excited to be a part of the ambitious goal of reaching young Nigerians with this opportunity. The work is massive, and we know we cannot achieve this objective without strong partnerships. And so, the Presidency, the relevant Ministries and State Governments will be collaborating with Generation Unlimited Nigeria, the private sector, the international community and our young people themselves to make this a reality.”
The Vice President noted that “GenU Nigeria will have three key components; Digital Skills Development, The Workforce Readiness Programme and Youth Engagement. Youth Employment and especially the empowerment of female entrepreneurs is a major aspect of GenU Nigeria.”
Prof. Osinbajo commended private sector partners such as Airtel, the Tony Elumelu Foundation, Jobberman Nigeria, amongst others for their innovative work with young entrepreneurs throughout the country and for their commitment to GenU Nigeria.
The introduction of GenU Nigeria is in collaboration with State Governors including Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Lagos State; Alhaji Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, Kano State; Mr Godwin Obaseki, Edo State, and also development partners such as Mr Edward Kallon, UN Resident Coordinator. GenU Nigeria has a wide range of Development Partners including the African Development Bank, GIZ, ILO, UNDP, USAID, and private sector organisations.
In Nigeria, the target is to reach 2 million young people aged 10-24years by 2023 and 20 million by 2030 with education, skills training, employment, entrepreneurship, and empowerment.
GenU Nigeria will be implemented in 12 states distributed across the 6 geo-political zones in the country. In the North-west, Kano and Kaduna States; South-west, Lagos and Ogun States; North-east, Borno and Bauchi States; South-east, Ebonyi and Enugu States; North-central, Niger and Benue States and from the South-south, Rivers and Cross River States.
Dignitaries present at the launch include Alhaji Abdullahi Ganduje, Governor of Kano State; Deputy Governor of Edo State, Comrade Philip Shuaibu; Minister of State for Science and Technology, Alhaji Mohammed Abdullahi, and Lagos State Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Mr Segun Dawodu, who represented the State Governor.
Other dignitaries include UN Resident Coordinator, Mr Edward Kallon; Country Representative, UNICEF Nigeria, Mr Peter Hawkins; Country Managing Partner PwC, Nigeria, Uyi Akpata; Global CEO GenU, Mr Kevin Frey, and representatives of youth groups.