Speaking at a side high-level event organized by Cape Verde, Nigeria and France, Mr Sunday Dare, Nigeria’s Minister for Youth and Sports, on Thursday, rallied governments, international organizations and the private sector to urgently provide credit and access to soft loans to youth-led businesses. According to him, therein lies the solution to lift the youth and other segments of the population out of poverty and unemployment.
“Entrepreneurship as an antidote against youth unemployment. entrepreneurship amongst youth offers a sustainable path out of poverty and unemployment. No nation has been able to bring down its youth unemployment numbers without embarking on deliberate policies aimed at providing credit and opportunities for small businesses and entrepreneurs to grow”
The Minister spoke further about how the Covid 19 pandemic created a new economy in which the youth became an important component by leveraging technology as an enabler.
“Technology has changed the way we do business forever due to the covid-19 pandemic. We continue to see an enabler seized upon by the youth. COVID-19 innovation challenge is a unique platform that empowers youth to offer solutions to the impact of the pandemic. Harnessing technology in various sectors: financial, commercial, service delivery, medicine, digital marketing.”
The Minister spoke on Federal Government of Nigeria’s post covid 19 initiatives to help social business expansion by providing needed funds to households and private businesses.
“Nigeria under the watchful eyes of President Muhammadu Buhari launched the strategic intervention initiative called the Economic Sustainability Plan, ESP to the tune of N2.3 trillion. This was a National Stimulus plan which had at its core social welfare packages, survival funds to households, small businesses and the old and vulnerable. The Youth and Women were not left out. “
Drawing from experiences across Nigeria and the continent the Minister declared that Nations will increasingly depend on the youth to meet the challenges of a post-Covid 19 era. “ Nigeria and indeed the world will rely increasingly on its Youth population to develop smart products and solutions to conquer the challenges and problems of climate change, economic slowdown and smart products.
If nothing at all, we must continue to use technology as an enabler, have government become an enabler and push our youth on the path of entrepreneurship by offering them digital alike and access to finance”.
This is the 2nd time the Minister is speaking at the UNGA High-level side events.