The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare, has advocated an inclusive approach for profiling youth for development and empowerment interventions to capture those in the informal sector even as he identified funding as a major challenge to be addressed.

The Minister, who was speaking, when he gave audience to Junior Achievement Nigeria (JA), a non-governmental organisation, in office in Abuja, further noted that the era when Youth Development was just a footnote is over.

He said “We need to be more inclusive to include those without tertiary education in the profiling of the Nigerian youth. The informal sector plays a major role in the economy. I think when empowering the youth we should look not just at the elite population when we are all-encompassing we will make progress.”

Reacting to Junior Achievement’s presentation on how to empower the next one million youth over the next five years, Mr Dare noted that “the challenge of youth development has been funding and how to scale up. You need to work with us as a Ministry to also achieve our target of (training and empowering) one million youth.

“As I listened to both of you speak, I was just wondering if someone somewhere compared notes because as I reel out plans, you will find that there are just several plug-ins. To a very large extent, they are similar. What we are doing differently this time is that we are putting youth and sports development on equal care.”

The Minister assured the organization that their priorities are also the Ministry’s priorities noting that “What we want to do is to scale up the empowerment of our youth, also to deepen the skills that we offer them and above all, to create opportunities for them. It is about opportunities. What you do is also creating a platform for opportunities.”

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