AbdulGafar Alabelewe, Kaduna

In response to the yearnings of Nigerian youths, the Federal Government said it has set aside N75 billion Youths Fund for their development projects for the next three years.

Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, who disclosed this while speaking with journalists in Kaduna on Saturday, said, the fund, which broken down to N25 billion per year, is meant to support the youths to actualise the creative and entrepreneurial ideas of the Government.

The Minister who was in Kaduna alongside the Minister of Environment, Dr. Mohammed Mahmood Abubakar, also said, they were in Kaduna in response to the directive of President Muhammadu, who ordered all the Ministers to go back home and engage with their state governments and other stakeholders over the recent violence occasioned by the #EndSARS protests across the country.

According to her, “We came to meet with the Government of Kaduna State to discuss the issue of protests that have been happening around our country, specifically, the #EndSARS.

“The State has prepared an excellent report and rendered to us on all the plans and efforts they have undertaken and we have also come to understand the challenges that they have and how best to support them.

“We are here in response to the directive Mr. President gave to all Ministers to go back home and engage the major stakeholders within the states to see how best we can support the states in trying to address the security issues that we have at this time. So, it was a wonderful meeting and it was very productive.

“What we are doing at the Federal level is that we have set aside N25bn Youths Fund. It is actually an N75bn fund for three years. So, we are starting with N25bn for 2021. The fund is meant to support the youths to actualise creative and entrepreneurial ideal that we have, so that, they can be more productive, be their own bosses and employ other youths,” she said.

Speaking on the Ministry of Environment’s programmes for the Youths, the Environment Minister, Dr. Abubakar said, his ministry has established recycling plants across the states, which are already employing the youths.

According to him, “the Ministry of Environment as one of the ministries involved in the 774,000 jobs, has built various recycling plants in the states that are engaging the youths in terms of employment and also giving them the opportunity to recycle products especially plastic wastes.

“We have just gotten approval on our new policy on plastic waste management in the country. It was approved by the Federal Executive Council on Wednesday.

“Also, the Ministry of Environment is working on several initiatives that will create employment opportunities and create wealth for the youths,” he said.

In her own remarks, the Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, Dr. Hadiza Balarabe expressed appreciation to the people of Kaduna State, especially the youths for remaining peaceful despite the widespread protests across the country.

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