Tinubu: Nigerian Youths Are Vibrant, Ready to Compete Globally

Tinubu: Nigerian Youths Are Vibrant, Ready to Compete Globally

* Lauds Mastercard Foundation for profiling 10m jobs for young Nigerians 

Deji Elumoye in Abuja 

President Bola Tinubu has declared that Nigerian youths are vibrant, talented, eager to learn, and ready to compete globally.

Speaking Wednesday at a meeting with the President and Chief Executive Officer of Mastercard Foundation, Ms Reeta Roy, at the State House, Abuja, President Tinubu stressed that: “We must give hope and assurance to our teeming youth population. God has blessed Nigeria with a vibrant youth population, ready to learn and capable of competing in the global economy of the 21st century. Leadership is what is necessary.

”The incubation is growing, and we are earning a good reputation, and we will continue to do that across sectors of the economy in order to achieve sustainable growth.”

He assured the youths that his administration will strongly support public-private partnerships aimed at creating dignified work and employment opportunities for Nigerian youths. 

President Tinubu commended Mastercard Foundation’s initiative, which aims to create 10 million jobs for young people in Nigeria, noting that the programme aligns with his Renewed Hope Agenda for economic development and job creation.

According to him, “We believe in what you are doing. We are determined to run an inclusive government and change the dynamics and perception of this country. Nigeria is the largest economy in Africa and, as such, must take its leadership of this continent very seriously.”

The president also welcomed Mastercard Foundation’s emphasis on digitization, recognizing the role of technology as a potent and indispensable tool against corruption.

“We are ready to work with you and remove all impediments, and we have assembled a great team to work with you. The hope of the youth must be built on a solid foundation of sustainable growth and prosperity. We are working with other partners, and we assure you of our robust and focused collaboration,” he further stated.

Earlier in his speech, the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Dr. Muhammad Ali Pate, noted the wide-reaching impact of the Mastercard Foundation across Africa and its proven capacity to change the fortunes of human capital development in Nigeria.

“This is an institution that holds assets worth more than $40 billion and they are prudent in ensuring that their resources are applied digitally and in a way that reaches their target beneficiaries directly. Mr. President’s strong commitment to reforming social intervention and health service delivery in Nigeria will be greatly boosted through this partnership,” Pate stated.

On her part, the CEO of Mastercard Foundation, Roy, informed the president that the Foundation’s focus on education and financial inclusion in Africa, particularly in Nigeria, aims to impact 30 million young Africans by 2030.

She reported progress on the Foundation’s 10 million target for Nigeria, stating that 2.1 million young people trained under the ‘Young Africa Work Strategy’ are already engaged in dignified work.

Furthermore, she said no fewer than seven million people have gone through programmes classified as work enablers, including skill acquisition, education, access to financial tools, networks, or linkages into opportunities.

According to her, “We are still on a journey and have more work to do. We are excited about looking at a whole new frontier, and that is in the healthcare sector.

“While we may not historically be a health organization or health foundation, we are looking at that sector as part of a vibrant economic landscape ripe with opportunities for young people and our focus will be on workforce development.

“Thank you for placing young people at the heart of your economic growth agenda across multiple sectors. We appreciate your contributions to the health sector. I know there are many things that require your time, but I am really grateful and very much encouraged to see that healthcare and education are also critical parts of the way forward. We hope that you find in us a partner that is steadfast, open and ready to learn.”

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