To encourage creativity among youths, the Federal Government, in partnership with some international organisations, is mobilising $500 million for investment in technology and creativity.
This was made known yesterday by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN). It was at the 2021 National Gold Award Presentation, organised by the International Award for Young People (IAYP) at the State House in Abuja.
The event is an initiative of the IAYP, the Nigerian version of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award. The Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the IAYP is Mr. Olawale Edun.
Describing the youth as Nigeria’s most valued assets, Osinbajo said the Federal Government valued their contributions to national development, adding that the Muhammadu Buhari administration is doing everything to encourage their creativity.
Osinbajo said the African Development Bank (AfDB), which is at the fore-front of raising the technology and creativity development fund, had already pooled about $170 million, adding that another initiative of the administration, the Nigeria Jubilee Fellowship Programme, will provide internship opportunity for 20,000 youths yearly for five years to hone their professionalism.
He said: “As part of the requirements for achieving the gold award, they undertook shared purposeful experiences with people who are not their usual companions in a residential setting. They undertook their residential projects in various locations, including engaging in wildlife conservation at the National Children’s Park here in Abuja. Athletics trainings, I’m told, at sports camps, leadership training at various youth, events, volunteering at various orphanages and hospitals.
“A recipient, Faith Iwuh, wins gold for her residential project, volunteered at the Renaissance Hospital in Enugu State, and I think we’ve heard about that, having observed that the hospital was experiencing a shortage of staff, she resided in the hospital for a month, volunteering as a health worker, and support staff to the hospital.
“Meeting you all today is a reminder of the many achievements of young people across Nigeria. Daily, we have Nigerians in our armed forces, leaving behind family and friends to serve our country in various internal security operations. We have seen how young Nigerians rallied in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and designed various technology solutions to support the government.
“We’ve seen young Nigerians break new ground and earn global acclaim in innovation, in technology, in sports and the arts and entertainment. So, it’s clear to us that our young people are our most valuable assets and the Federal Government believes that they must be encouraged and supported in every way, which is why we’re currently raising about $500 million to support technology and creativity.
“The project is led by the African Development Bank, which has already committed $170 million to the enterprise and this will be supported by the Federal Government, Islamic Development Bank and the French Development Agency.