Hammed Shittu in Ilorin
Former Minister of Youths and Sports Development and Kwara Central PDP Senatorial candidate for 2023 election, Malam Bolaji Abdullahi has called for the amendment of the recently signed Nigeria StartUp Act to include the Ministry of Youth development in the council for digital innovation and entrepreneurship.
Abdullahi in a statement said without such amendment the Act would be missing the coordinating power of the youth ministry, which is critical to the effective implementation of the new law.
The former minister while commending President Muhammadu Buhari for his assent to the law, notes that the act will open the country for greater investment in the digital economy, and unleash the huge potentials of our youths for greater competitiveness.
Abdullahi, a former editor with THISDAY Newspaper said, “I commend President Muhammadu Buhari for his assent to the StartUp Act, I am delighted that the country has embraced such legislation at this crucial time when we are at a crossroad on how to boost national productivity. This Act has the capacity to unlock the huge potentials for entrepreneurship and digital innovation in Nigeria.
“However, I consider the exclusion of the youth ministry from the council for Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship as provided for in the Act as an omission which if not immediately redressed can impair the full implementation of the law.”
Abdullahi added, “I believe this Act is a major step in the right direction, but we know that laws are not enough. What matters ultimately is what we are able to achieve with the law. From my experience as a Minister, the law would be missing the convening power of the youth ministry, to coordinate, organise and mobilise Nigerian youths who are the frontline players in the digital innovation ecosystem.
“I recall the YOUWIN programme, under former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, which had a similar objective of promoting entrepreneurship among the youths. Although, the programme was originally domiciled with the ministry of finance and the ministry of ICT, the ministry of youth development under my leadership was at the forefront of its implementation by assuming the responsibility of convening, coordinating, mobilising and organising youths across the country for the programme.
“This new Act is a more institutionalised framework, but the objectives are the same. This is why I demand immediate amendment to the Act, to reflect the critical role of the youth ministry for the successful implementation of the StartUp Act.”
Abdullahi noted that creating opportunities in the digital economy is an important element of the Youth Empowerment and Entrepreneurship pillar of his BIG IDEAS Campaign.