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April 18, 2024

Nigeria must take advantage of its large youth population – Minister

Nigeria must take advantage of its large youth population – Minister

The Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Sen. Abubakar Bagudu, says Nigeria must take advantage of its large youth population by investing in technology if it wants to attain economic growth.

Bagudu said this when he received members of Group Six of the Senior Executive Course of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) in his office in Abuja.

“We must think outside the box and create the right synergy in addition to collaboration and encouragement of investments in the technology start-up across regions of the country.

“In the last 10 months of President Tinubu’s administration, technology and creative ecosystem have been major sources of job creation for the youth, making them more globally competitive,” he said.

Bagudu tasked the institute with examining the place of the digital economy in the country’s agenda for 2050 and the National Development Plan (2021–2025).

He stated that the evaluation had become imperative to determine if the digital economy, which offered immense opportunities for youth employment and sustainable job creation, was properly captured in both documents.

He said that the objective of the National Development Plan (NDP) 2021–2025 for the digital economy sector was to unleash Nigeria’s potential for industrialisation and sustainable economic growth to ensure competitiveness in the global space.

“This is possible because the NDP aims to achieve double-digit growth in an inclusive manner with consistency as guided by the National Protection Policy,” he said.

The minister said digital economy was not the preserve of a ministry but a golden field that should be embraced by all in order not to be left behind in the digital space.

He said that the creation of the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and the separation of the Ministry of Youths from Sports were a clear demonstration of President Bola Tinubu administration’s commitment to facilitate the development these sectors of the economy.

Bagudu said several interventions, such as the approval of the N300 billion Youth Investment Fund, the training of three million youths in the I-DICE project, and the creation of a National Agricultural Development Fund across the country, were laudable programmes.

He added that these investments’ vision was to stimulate the delivery of some of the administration’s key priorities aimed at accelerating diversification through industrialisation, digitalisation, creative arts,

manufacturing, and innovation.He said that with the advent of digitisation, the world had become a global village, making the digital economy a financial hub for youths.

He added that the demography of the country highlighted that 31 per cent of the population were youths.

Bagudu said the huge number of youths could not be ignored if the country wished to tackle unemployment, accelerate development, and ensure sustainable growth.

“This is possible because the NDP aims to achieve double-digit growth in an inclusive manner with consistency as guided by the National Protection Policy,” he said.

He solicited the cooperation of all Nigerians in this regard and called for humility to embrace the change the digital economy had brought.

Speaking, the team leader of the group, Navy Commodore Suleman Dahun, said the visit was aimed at educating the team members on the operations of the Ministry.

This, he said, was especially geared toward enhancing digital economy, youth empowerment, and sustainable job creation in Nigeria.

“This necessitated the institute’s 2024 course theme, “Digital Economy, Youth Employment, and Sustainable Job Creation in Nigeria: Issues, Challenges, and Opportunities.”

He said that NIPSS was the nation’s highest think tank, a centre for research and dialogue that attracted Nigerians of proven experience to meet and dialogue toward producing quality decisions.

“The flagship programme of the institute is the senior executive course,” Dahun said.

He said that every year a policy area was chosen for a particular course, and at the end of the 10-month programme, participants were expected to brief the president on their area of focus. (NAN)