The Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) has announced plans to deploy over N150 billion towards the setting up and implementation of a youth development programme.
This is in order to help support the federal government’s drive to reduce unemployment, which was a critical factor in the recent nationwide protest, particularly amongst the youth.
The programme is expected to provide technical and vocational education to over 4 million Nigerian youths over the next 5 years.
This disclosure was made by the Co-Chair, CACOVID and Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, at a press conference in Lagos on Wednesday, November 25, 2020, in the company of other prominent members of the group like President, Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote; Chairman, United Bank for Africa Plc, Mr Tony Elumelu; and Group Managing Director/CEO, Access Bank Plc, Chief Herbert Wigwe.
Under the programme, students will be trained on craftwork, plumbing, masonry, carpentry and other artisanal related skills which is in high demand in Nigeria.
What they are saying
Emefiele, in his statement, said, “As a result, CACOVID has committed to creating a high impact youth development programme that will provide technical and vocational education to over four million Nigerian youths over the next five years.’’
“Students will be trained on craftwork, plumbing, masonry, carpentry, and other artisanal related skills for which sufficient demand exist in Nigeria. Over N150 billion is expected to be deployed towards the setup and implementation of the youth development program, which will be available at select training centres across the country.’’
He pointed out that selected students on the conclusion of the programme will be certified by the appropriate standards board and will be eligible to receive loans to support their entrepreneurial pursuits.
He also said, “So far, over N25 billion will be domiciled in a fund to support these entrepreneurial pursuits, which would also include acquisition of related equipment to conduct business activities.
“The ultimate objective is to provide young Nigerians with employable skill sets that will enable them to live a gainful life. We believe this initiative can lead to the creation of over four million jobs over the next five years,” he added.
What you should know
Emefiele further disclosed that CACOVID in collaboration with the Bankers’ Committee will be looking at investing over N40 billion to complete the creative centre at the National Arts Theatre, Lagos in four select areas namely: ICT and software design/development, fashion, music, and movies for out-of-school graduates.
This initiative by CACOVID is an aftermath of the youth restiveness and violence that erupted during the #EndSARS protests against police brutality and extra-judicial killings. The protest brought to bear the anger of the Nigerian youths over the high rate of unemployment in the country.
What this means
This programme supports the various efforts of the Federal Government in job creation and provides the opportunity for private sector participation in helping get the youths off the street and be meaningfully engaged.