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Young Nigerians are undaunted, belong to most globalised generation ever – Buhari

The Federal Government will continue to offer and support initiatives that would create wealth, jobs and opportunities for young Nigerians, while they themselves must also…

The Federal Government will continue to offer and support initiatives that would create wealth, jobs and opportunities for young Nigerians, while they themselves must also acquire knowledge and skills to innovate, create, be productive and contribute value so as to build their future and better the lot of the country.

President Muhammadu Buhari, who was represented at the ceremony by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, stated this on Saturday at the combined convocation ceremony of the Federal University, Wukari, in Taraba State.

In the address titled “A Great Future,” President Buhari encouraged Nigerian youths “to see the various challenges in our environment as opportunities for the creation of solutions, as we are a nation with a rapidly expanding population with attendant human sustenance needs.”

Urging the graduating students to “make value addition” their motto, the President said: “You belong to one of the most resilient, dynamic and energetic populations on this planet – a people that are by nature undaunted by the challenges of their environment.”

The President’s speech noted that the Nigerian can-do spirit is an inspiration to establish globally renowned industries and achieve great things, as it has earned many Nigerians international acclaim.

“This can-do spirit is why Nigeria is now home to the third largest film industry in the world and why we are the epicenter of a global and pan-African popular culture driven by the dynamism of Nigerian creatives.”

Noting the impact of young Nigerians in the digital technology space, the President said, “Our tech entrepreneurs and innovators are not just applying their talents to profit-making endeavours, but also seeking to address social problems.”

“Young Nigerians, such as yourselves, are pioneering new patterns of enterprise and wealth creation and, in the process, have established this country as the most vibrant innovation hub on the African continent.”

He added, “There are several unicorns and promising start-ups in Nigeria already… Many of these companies started business in 2015 and prospered in the midst of two recessions and the two years of COVID-19.”

On Government’s continued support for various initiatives, the President highlighted initiatives such as the N75 billion National Youth Investment Fund; the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Creative Sector Fund and the over $600million investing in Digital and Creative Enterprises (iDICE) programme, which the president approved recently.

The iDICE programme will support young techies and creative sector entrepreneurs through the provision of finance, skills development and infrastructure.

Also, President Buhari disclosed that the Nigeria Jubilee Fellows Programme – which will last for five years and will be funded by the Federal Government, the UNDP and the European Union (EU), is set to begin.

Annually, the programme will provide 20,000 young graduates with fully-paid 12-month internships in reputable private and public sector organizations across the country.

The President emphasized that his administration recognizes that infrastructure is key to development, just as digital technology provides a pathway to accelerated growth.

He said, “So, we are on course to ensure broadband connectivity for all by 2025. We are also connecting the vast reaches of our country by investing heavily in rail and road infrastructure, because we recognize that the ease and speed with which people and goods can move is a key accelerant of economic development.

“In effect, we are opening new economic corridors that can enhance trade and enable access to markets. These ongoing projects are resulting in the creation of more jobs and increased economic activities in host communities.”

The President also stated his administration’s resolve to continue to support ordinary Nigerians through its Social Investment Programmes, even as he noted that “we have also dedicated a significant portion of our budget to social investments which cater to the poor and vulnerable.”

“Currently, the National Social Register of poor and vulnerable Nigerians has 32.6 million persons from more than 7 million poor and vulnerable households. For the first time in our history as a nation, we have laid the foundations of a social safety net for our people,” he disclosed.