Chairman, Policy Innovation Centre (PIC) of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), Mr. Udeme Ufot has said the size and youthfulness of the Nigerian population offers great potential for innovation, technological advancement and economic development of the country.
Ufot stated this in Abuja, during the just concluded Gender and Inclusion Summit 2023 convened by the Policy Innovation Centre of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, with the theme: ‘Building Bridges-Advancing Gender and Inclusion Through the Intersection of Trade and Health’.
He however noted that for the youthful potential to be harnessed, there would be a strategic investment in health, education, infrastructural development and job creation, while leveraging technology to deliver sustainable development at scale.
Commenting on the essence of the Summit, Ufot said it was conceptualised as a platform for dialogue, to enable critical stakeholders from diverse sectors to reflect on new evidence and contextually relevant solutions to disparities in inclusivity in Nigeria.
According to him, “The Gender and Inclusion Summit has a truly inclusive scope encompassing women, men, children, youth, people with disabilities, and other vulnerable population. This year, we are dedicating considerable time to discuss issues relating to Nigerian youth for many reasons. Nigeria has one of the largest population of youth in the world, about seventy percent of the population is under 35 years old. The median age of youth in Nigeria is 18.1 years and 42 per cent are under the age of 15.”
He commended the efforts of the current government in providing platforms for youth such as the recently launched initiative to train three million tech talents by the Ministry of Communication, Innovation and Digital Economy. He further underscored the need for “a collective responsibility to develop inclusive approaches to address barriers to quality education, job and internship opportunities and access to health services for Nigeria’s burgeoning youth population.”