The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, has advised UNESCO/FCTA Youth Mobile Information and Communication Technology (ICT) project graduands to use the skills acquired for nation building.
The minister gave the advice on Thursday in Abuja at the graduation ceremony for 400 participants of the project in the FCT, who were drawn mainly from Abuja Municipal and Bwari Area Councils.
He said that the next phase of the project had been scheduled for Gwagwalada and would involve 600 participants covering the southern axis of the FCT of Kuje, Kwali, Abaji, and Gwagwalada Area Councils.
Bello, who was represented by the FCTA Permanent Secretary, Mr Christian Ohaa, said that the administration had committed over N96.7mMillion by way of counterpart funding to match UNESCO’s support of N42 million.
The minister urged the participants to justify the investment of both foreign and the Nigerian government towards the realisation of their full potential by starting their own businesses.
He noted that the beneficiaries had been given the skills required to excel, adding that government expected them to translate those skills to increased productivity and employment.
“I urge you all to leverage on the skills you have acquired for self-actualisation and for nation-building.
“Let this serve as a clarion call for you all to live up to this dream and to brace up to the challenges of starting off your own businesses, where necessary, as well as being the torch-bearers of change.’’
Bello expressed appreciation to UNESCO for the successful conclusion of the first segment of the Youth Mobile Project.
He said that the knowledge gained would enable participants to contribute towards the building of inclusive knowledge-based society, by leveraging on ICT skills.
“I am glad to note the engagement of 15 beneficiaries from the first batch by SAP (a global leading software company), who served as facilitators at the 2017 Africa Code Week.
“Without doubt, the beneficiaries have been given skills required to excel and we expect it to translate to increased youth productivity and employment.’’
Earlier, the Director and Representative of UNESCO Regional Office in Abuja, MrYao Ydo, said that the youth stood at the heart of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
“The spirit of education and cultural arm of the world body is to engage and partner with young women and men in promoting peace, preventing violent extremism and engaging them meaningfully.
“UNESCO is working across board to support them not as beneficiaries but as leaders, playing vital roles at local, national and global levels.’’
Ydo also disclosed that discussions were ongoing to work with the Lagos State Government to empower 4,000 unemployed youths.(NAN)