The President Bola Tinubu-led federal government has received support from the International Labour Organisation in its efforts to tackle unemployment in the country by creating over two million digital jobs.
Speaking at the World Youth Skills Day event in Abuja, Vanessa Phala, the ILO Country Director for Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, emphasized the importance of empowering youth for a sustainable future and building skills for tomorrow. She highlighted that the digital economy has become an essential aspect of Nigerians’ daily lives, shaping the industrial sector and generating numerous opportunities.
Phala further emphasized the significance of equipping Nigeria’s young population with the necessary skills to thrive in the digital world, considering the country’s sizable youth demographic.
She stated, “Today, we gather to celebrate the remarkable potential of our young people and to emphasize the critical role of skills development in preparing them for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.
“We realized that the future is now and skills are needed. It is well known that Nigeria has a youth population with a vibrant energy that stands for the principle of transformative progression.
“However, to unlock Nigerian youths’ potential, we must invest in them, equip them with the right skills and create an enabling environment that enriches their talents.”
Phala further said, “The ILO has supported the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development to develop the Nigerian Youth Development Action Plan with a focus on entrepreneurship, among others.
“To fulfill the potential of this digital era, we must ensure that our young people are not only technologically trained but must possess critical thinking, problem-solving, and adaptability skills to strive in a changing world.
“The ILO is supporting the government in this digital transformation agenda and will continue to support the new government to deliver on the promises of creating over 2 million jobs in the digital economy.”
In addition, George Akume, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, emphasized the importance of harnessing the potential of young people to drive transformation.
Akume, who was represented by Nko Esuabana, the Permanent Secretary of the Political and Economic Affairs Office in the OSGF, expressed that a collaborative effort has been undertaken to bridge the skills gap and empower young individuals in the green, digital, and creative economy.
“The dialogue lies not only in addressing the challenges facing our young ones today but also in harnessing their potentials as catalysts for transformational change.”