The Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Sunday Dare, has called on Nigeria youths to take full advantage of the opportunities the Google’s partnership with the Ministry offer.
The Minister made the call during a virtual press conference on Tuesday as Google announced plans to help businesses, job seekers, educational institutions and vulnerable populations as they grapple with the “new normal” and begin to rebuild and recover from the impact of the COVID-19 crisis locally and across the continent.
The Minister said that Google has opened up so many opportunities for young people the world over and has always sought to support causes that promote excellence and innovation which is also in line with the Ministry’s Digital literacy, Entrepreneurship, Employability and Leadership Skills – DEEL initiative.
The tech company’s initiatives will address the need for funding, training and services across identified sectors, including support for 500,000 SMBs and 25,000 teachers.
“I am well pleased to announce to young Nigerians that this Ministry-Google partnership will enhance Google’s execution plans towards achieving a renewed commitment to support small businesses and individuals in Nigeria to recover following negative slowdowns resulting from Covid19.
According to Fate Foundation, 94.3 % of businesses surveyed in Nigeria have been adversely affected by the Covid 19 pandemic.
Dare also said, “Research shows that 86% of Nigerian youths are pro-enterprise. This means given the right conditions, resources and training, Nigerian youth are poised to thrive in the area of entrepreneurship.
Late last year, the Ministry launched a DEEL initiative with plans of creating avenues of sustainable wealth creation, digital training for 1 million Nigerians by 2023.
“The DEEL initiative speaks to Digital literacy, Entrepreneurship, Employability and Leadership Skills enhancement. We crafted lofty plans and were sure of an impactful dent in the number of young persons living below the poverty line but Covid-19 came along and threw a spanner in the works.
“One of the abiding lessons of the pandemic is the importance and dominance of technology. This is where our youth play well.
“Post-pandemic, the use of technology is unlikely to decline but will instead will increase, even in the rural areas as government has embarked upon massive investment in the areas of public digital infrastructure. For these investments to be fully effective, digital literacy skills must be strengthened with continual education to keep pace with rapidly changing global technologies.
“Nigerian Government’s Nigeria Youth Investment Fund (NYIF) is targeted at turning most of our youth into entrepreneurs (MSMEs)” he said.
To this end, the Minister said that the Google partnership comes at time most opportune time to help ratchet up support for the country’s enterprising youth.
“I am certain Nigeria youth will take full advantage of this opportunity.
Googles partnership scope
The Minister disclosed that the partnership scope includes;
- Providing support for youth-owned SMBs to get back on their feet and rebuild, in partnership with our ministry
- Providing support for jobseekers in NG to acquire important skills through certifications and training programs
- Supporting programs that enable and improve delivery/ access to quality education across the region
“It is at this particular time highly welcome and I do hope the partnership plays the role of providing support and growth for Nigerian youths and the businesses they run.
“For all opportunities for Nigerian Youth with existing small businesses, ensure you enrol your business with Federal Ministry of Youth Sports to access various business support, including training, funding. Etc., Visit noya.ng or youthandsport.gov.ng.
Earlier, the Google Nigeria Country Director Juliet Ehimuan, “Small businesses have been hardest hit during this period. Many of them have had to figure out quickly how to pivot their operations to a ‘digital-first’ approach. Yet, there remains a gap between those who can access these online opportunities and those who can’t. That’s the gap we want to bridge with these initiatives”.
“We are focused on creating an enabling environment that promotes youth and economic development in Nigeria. This partnership with Google in Nigeria is critical at this period and we look forward to seeing the positive impact it will have on SMBs’ recovery, enhancing the skills of jobseekers and supporting the education sector,” says the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Nigeria, Sunday Dare.
To provide assistance to vulnerable populations, Google.org has set aside $3 million in grants to nonprofits that support education, entrepreneurship and women empowerment across Africa.