President Bola Tinubu says Nigerian youth are vibrant, talented, eager to learn and ready to compete globally.
In a meeting with Reeta Roy, President and CEO of the Mastercard Foundation, President Tinubu said his administration will strongly support public-private partnerships aimed at creating decent work and employment opportunities for young Nigerians.
The President commended the initiative of the Mastercard Foundation, which aims to create 10 million jobs for youth in Nigeria, noting that the program aligns with its Renewed Hope Agenda for economic development and job creation.
”We believe in what you are doing. We are determined to lead an inclusive government and change the dynamics and perception of this country. Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy and as such, its leadership on this continent must be taken very seriously.
”We must give hope and security to our large youth population. God has blessed Nigeria with a vibrant young population, ready to learn and able to compete in the 21st century global economy. Leadership is what is needed.
“Incubation is growing and we are earning a good reputation, and we will continue to do so in all sectors of the economy to achieve sustainable growth,” said the President.
President Tinubu also welcomed the Mastercard Foundation’s emphasis on digitalisation, recognizing the role of technology as a powerful and indispensable anti-corruption tool.
“We are ready to work with you to remove all impediments, and we have assembled a great team to work with you. The hope of youth must be based on a solid foundation of sustainable growth and prosperity. “We are working with other partners and assure them of our strong and focused collaboration,” the president said.
The Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Ali Pate, highlighted the extensive impact of the Mastercard Foundation across Africa and its proven ability to change the fortunes of human capital development in Nigeria.
“This is an institution that has assets worth more than $40 billion and is prudent in ensuring that its resources are applied digitally and in a way that reaches its target beneficiaries directly. Mr. President’s strong commitment to social intervention reform and health service delivery in Nigeria will be greatly boosted through this partnership,” said the Coordinating Minister for Health and Social Welfare.
The CEO of the Mastercard Foundation, Ms. 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.
He reported on progress towards the Foundation’s 10 million people target for Nigeria, stating that 2.1 million youth trained under the “Africa Youth Work Strategy” are already engaged in decent work.
In addition, he said that no less than seven million people have gone through programs classified as job facilitators, which include the acquisition of skills, education, access to financial tools, networks or links to opportunities.
“We are still on our way and we have more work to do. We are excited to look at a completely new frontier, and that is the healthcare sector.
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“While we may not historically be a health organization or health foundation, we see that sector as part of a vibrant economic landscape full of opportunities for young people and our focus will be on workforce development.
“Thank you for placing young people at the center of your economic growth agenda in multiple sectors. We appreciate your contributions to the health sector. I know there are a lot of things that take your time, but I am truly grateful and very encouraged to see that healthcare and education are also critical parts of the path forward. We hope you find in us a firm partner, open and willing to learn,” he said.
Special advisor to the president
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January 24, 2024