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May 20, 2023

Youth agenda, entrepreneurship bank top Tinubu’s govt list – Sunday Dare

President Bola Tinubu

The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare, has said that the incoming Federal Government would prioritise Youth programmes and called on the Nigerian Youth to be ready to plug into government policies so as to benefit. 

He said he has witnessed the lethargy in the registration and participation of certain government programmes designed to empower and skill-up the Youth of Nigeria, adding that they should grab every opportunity to succeed. 

The Minister said this on Saturday, while presenting his keynote address at the virtual conference organised by the Progressive Youth of the United Kingdom with the theme,  ‘Nigeria’s Rebirth and the Triumph of Hope.’

“If you don’t join the race, you can’t expect to win,” Mr. Dare said. “Yes, there is trust deficit between the Youth and the Government but you have to take a leap of faith and apply for these programmes. They are numerous and all you have to do is search online and you can benefit from them.”

Speaking about his relationship with the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Minister said it was the former Lagos State Governor that sought him out and gave him responsibilities when he was only a young journalist. 

He told the story of how the Asiwaju sustained the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) Movement while it was facing grave danger from the military junta. He spoke of the way the Asiwaju led Lagos with his unique ideas, cosmopolitan nature and praised his ability to build and work with a formidable team and grew the revenue of Lagos to what it is today. 

“Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is a leader of men and a developer of talents. Inborn in him are the qualities you need in a progressive leader. He has the foresight, discipline and imagination to take Nigeria further. He ran Lagos as a small Nigeria. He built a great team. He has never shifted grounds from progressive politics. That is that level of consistency that we need in the country today,” he said. 

Mr. Dare encouraged the Nigerian Youth to keep hope alive as the incoming administration is set to inherit many approved programmes and plans that will benefit all classes and educational levels of Nigerian Youth. He also said that the Youth of Africa share common challenges of opportunity,  require investment in skills and ideas. 

He added that as a partner of the Youth, Asiwaju Tinubu will unlock the potentials of the Youth with laws and provision of funding.

“Youth agenda is top on the list for the incoming government,” the Minister said. “We currently have the Nigeria Youth Investment Fund, which currently has N75 billion promised to it by the Federal Government.  We are currently pushing for a Youth Entrepreneurship Bank and a Youth Development Agency.

“Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has always said that ‘Education can defeat poverty.’ He believes that student loan is critical. 68% of those doing sports are Youth. That’s why we have the National Sports Industry Policy approved to give incentives to people investing in sports. 

“It will be fully implemented under Asiwaju. There is commitment to get things done. Commitment to work with the private sector, unleash the potentials of our Youth. His government will improve on President Muhammad Buhari’s administration and properly finish what has been started.”

The virtual conference was attended by Nigerian Youth at home and in the Diaspora and the speakers included Amb Tukur Yusuf Buratai, former Chief of Army Staff, and Hon. Dayo Israel, National Youth Leader of the APC.