The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has described skills acquisition as an integral aspect of its youth empowerment and job creation initiatives.
Mr Olusade Adesola, Permanent Secretary of the ministry, made this known in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Abuja on Wednesday.
Adesola recommended an inter-agency collaboration for effective empowerment of Nigerian youths.
He said that the ministry had trained about 15,000 youths in different skills since 2015 and would continue to do more.
‘’Skill acquisition is important to youth empowerment, fighting unemployment and job creation.
‘’The question of youths and skills is multi-sectorial and multi-stakeholders’ affair.
‘’The local governments and state governments should be actively involved.
‘’The Federal Government is doing a lot already and our international development partners identified with us. Between 2015 and 2019, we were able to train and empower more than 15,000 youths in different skills,’’ he said.
The permanent secretary said that his ministry scaled up skills acquisition in the area of fashion designing in 2019 by training 85 youths to acquire more expertise in the field.
‘’In 2019, we decided to do something different. We introduced a scale up training in fashion designing and apparel production.
‘’The objective is to provide beneficiaries with skills and the finesse that will make their products attractive. Eighty five youths were trained in March and since they graduated, the feedback has been encouraging,’’ he said.
Adesola commended government’s National Social Investment Programme and the Skills Acquisition programme of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).
He described Nigerian youths as intelligent and focused; only requiring support to excel.
He described sports as another sector where youths could build capacity to escape poverty.
‘’In the sports sector alone, we provide capacity and we build capacity. We had over 20,000 youths that participated in the 19th National Sports Festival.
‘’Many of them have been lifted out of poverty through the perfection of their skills and their engagement in competition,’’ he said.