The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare has charged the All Progressives Congress (APC) Youth to avail themselves of the various opportunities created by government to develop themselves to guarantee the future.
The Minister was speaking on Monday at the first ever Progressive Youth Conference themed “The Future is a Decision”.
According to the Minister, “This gathering will be remembered as one of the most important youth gatherings in our history, especially for our party, the APC whose core is the progressive principle”.
He stated that the youth of the APC stock have chosen a perfect time to interrogate the future of the youth within the progressive ideology and by doing so, draw the party and its energetic youth into the arena of constructive discourse.
“I thank President Muhammadu Buhari for the great and committed leadership he continues to provide for this country. From all fronts—political, social and economical—we have a President who continues to engage the youth, NYIF, NPower, Not Too Young to Run Bill, Public Works program. The youth agenda of our great party APC is alive!
“The Nigeria Youth Investment Fund (NYIF) is one of such initiatives that this government approved for the Nigerian youth in order to support their innovative ideas, enterprise and business ideas.
“At the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, we recognized the urgency of quickly weighing in and providing the finances that the youth need to grow their enterprise, ideas, and businesses, hence our rapid deployment of part of the Fund while the system was being fine-tuned.
“Once properly set up, NYIF would disburse loans to the youth at a faster pace. To realize this, the Ministry is in consultation with other partners to expand the loans disbursement platform to fast-track access to the Fund.”
The Minister reiterated belief in youth leadership, noting that, “When they say the youth are the leaders of tomorrow, I’ve said it repeatedly since I became minister, that yes, the youth are the leaders of tomorrow, but now, in this political construct, the youths are now leaders starting today.
“And unless you start being leaders now in your communities, professional groups and places of work, you will not wake up one day to become a leader,you must learn the ropes.”
He affirmed that the Progressive concept emphasizes progress, success, society friendly, problem solving, solution-oriented, people-oriented and one with a temperament of vigilance.
The Minister said the present administration is focused on Human Capital Development, something which Bill Gates stated clearly, “Unless a nation builds on its human capital development, it can never develop”.
“Therefore, I urge the youth to acquire skills that are relevant.There are 150 digital skills, but from our study, about 25 of them can help you get jobs within our society. You can be in the comfort of your office in Abuja and outsource your skills but you must get that additional skill. You can get it from many government training programs on and offline.”
On sports as business, he said, “Sports for us, under this progressive administration is no longer recreational but now a business. This government is about wealth creation and we are leveraging sports to develop the minds, talent and the financial status of our youth. “The Future is indeed a decision. But that decision must be made Now”, the Minister concluded.