Thursday, 8 September 2022

SDGs: FG Approves Nigeria's Alliance For Youth

L to R: Akinlonu Foluso, Director Legal Services, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development; Sunday Dare, Honorable Minister of Youth and Sports Development: Shakiru Lawal, Country HR Manager, Nestlé Nigeria Plc, at the launch of Alliance for Youth Nigeria, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has signed on to the initiative as a development partner to the alliance, recently.


President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed concern over Nigeria's rapidly growing population, claiming that the country is one of the few whose fertility is still increasing despite being the largest in Africa and ranking seventh globally. According to the United Nations 2022 World Population Day estimate, Nigeria's population will reach 216 million in 2022 at a pace of 3.2 percent annual growth. 

According to Buhari, fertility depends on a young population, with over 72 percent of the population being under 30 years old and half of the female residents being between 15 and 49 years old.

Despite being the admiration of many other nations and being the most populated nation in Africa, Nigeria's enormous economic power and human capital, which should be a blessing, are not producing any demographic benefits. The promotion of sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all by 2030 is the eighth of the United Nations' 17 sustainable development goals. 

Given the notion of the demographic dividend, Nigeria's rapid population growth poses the threat of a demographic disaster. It seems to reason that Nigeria's population will be its biggest challenge if nothing is done.

Furthermore, because of the vast human capital, there may be more demand for limited resources, hunger, poor access to health care and education, and a high level of unemployment. These are the results of an increase in the number of school-age children who are not enrolled in classes. 

To effectively utilize this demographic dividend, certain organizations, notably Nestle, have started the Alliance for Youth Nigeria program. Within three years, it is intended to provide 250,000 young Nigerians the skills they require to excel in the job or start their own business. 

As of right now, the Alliance for Youth Nigeria has the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development on board as a development partner.

At the launch of the Alliance recently,   Mr. Shakiru Lawal, Country Human Resources Manager, Nestlé Nigeria Plc, had explained that the huge objective of reaching 250,000 young Nigerians with employability and entrepreneurial skills within three years was to address the challenges of youth unemployment in the country.

Speaking during the signing ceremony to mark the formal endorsement of the ministry and its membership in the Alliance, Lawal said Nestle will continue to expand partnerships and collaborations.

“We are assured that we are on the right track to the actualisation of our objectives.”

Lawal who spoke on behalf of the Alliance said: “We are delighted to have the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development on board as a Partner of the Alliance for Youth Nigeria.

Contributing, Mr. Sunday Dare, Minister of Youth and Sports Development, said, “The onboarding of the Ministry as a Partner of the Alliance is significant and timely as Government alone cannot address the huge challenge of youth unemployment. I commend the Alliance for choosing a different and unique path, making investments in the young Nigerians and giving them opportunities to create wealth.

“It is imperative that Nigerian youth equip themselves with the necessary skills to give them an added advantage and enable them to become better positioned for decent work.”

Members of the Alliance for Youth Nigeria include Nestlé Nigeria, Jobberman Nigeria, The Big Bottling Company Limited, the United Nations Global Compact Network Nigeria, UConnect HR Limited and Sterling One Foundation. Partners include the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development who just signed on recently, Lagos State Employment Trust Fund and Activate Success International.

The member and partner organisations of the Alliance for Youth Nigeria, invest in joint and individual projects to give young Nigerians readiness-for-work training, entrepreneurship training, meaningful work experience, internships, and mentoring opportunities.

Consequently,  the group contributes  to  the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 8 – to promote sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all by 2030.

L to R: Gabriel Jacob, Business Development Manager, U-Connect HR Limited; Tumi Onamade, Senior Manager, Participant Engagement & Programs, United Nations Global Compact Network Nigeria; Sunday Dare, Honorable Minister of Youth and Sports Development; Shakiru Lawal, Country HR Manager, Nestlé Nigeria Plc and Love Idoko, Executive Director, Activate Success International, at the launch of Alliance for Youth Nigeria, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has signed on to the initiative as a development partner to the alliance, recently.

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