President Muhammadu Buhari has launched the Presidential Youth Empowerment Scheme (P-YES), aimed at creating 774,000 jobs across the local government areas in the country.
He restated his administration’s commitment to youth development and poverty alleviation.
He promised that the Federal Government policies of social protection and people empowerment would continue on track, despite the challenges posed by COVID-19 pandemic.
The president, who described P-YES as a cornerstone of his administration’s social and economic development strategies, said it was part of the overall policy of ensuring that 100 million Nigerians were lifted out of poverty in ten years.
“The P-YES is also part of the plan we adopted in 2016 in which we empowered One hundred youths from each of the 774 local government areas with the necessary tools to acquire skills and establish small businesses.
Buhari, who took a tour of P-YES tools and equipment displayed at the forecourt of Presidential Villa, expressed delight that the materials showcased represent the fruits of the initiatives embarked upon by his administration in 2016.
“All the tools, machines and equipment that are exhibited here, are products of the efforts of these empowered youth entrepreneurs.
“I note with particular pleasure that they were all fabricated in Nigeria by Nigerian youths using locally sourced materials. This is a wonderful and uplifting achievement.
“As an entrepreneurship empowerment project, the P-YES programme aims to address the needs of unskilled and less educated youth.
“It targets key areas of activities that are of practical importance and are essential to every aspect of our economy.
“These include areas such as agriculture and food processing, restaurant and catering, tailoring and fashion design, technical skills such as in the Information and Communications Technology sector, artisanship, welding, carpentry and joinery, other small businesses and activities associated with the micro-economic sector of this economy,” he said.
He called on state governments, ministries, departments and agencies of government to factor the P-YES into their programmes to assist the youth realise their potentials in their chosen fields.
He also urged local and foreign private sector operators in Nigeria to also contribute their share to the expansion of this programme through channelling their corporate social responsibility efforts towards skills acquisition, creation of start-ups, and other intervention measures.