The FCT Minister of State, Dr Ramatu Aliyu, has called on youths to come up with brilliant ideas that will enable them to access between N250,000 and N50 million from the N75 billion Nigerian Youth Investment Fund.
Aliyu made the call on Monday at the maiden edition of National Youth Day celebration in Abuja.
The minister identified poverty and unemployment as the main factors that could drive youths into violence, extremism and crime.
She said that as part of measures to mitigate the ugly trends, the government in 2015 initiated some programmes to ameliorate the vulnerabilities of youths in the country.
“It is also of note that the Federal Government, in its bid to show care, created a N25 billion youth fund, in addition to the earlier N75 billion fund after the #EndSARS protest,’’ she said.
Aliyu said that the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has done its best to support the Federal Government’s initiatives.
She noted that the administration had initiated some intervention programmes to assist young people, their families and communities on a sustainable basis.
“The FCTA, through the Youth Development Department of the Social Development Secretariat, has trained youths in various viable economic skills at the FCT Youth Support Centre, Nyanya.
“We are in active collaboration with the African Union to establish a youth outreach mini-centre at the Social Development Secretariat.
“At the centre, young people can meet our social services expert to discuss their problems for positive solutions,’’ she said.
In his address, Dr Kelvin Ike, Acting Secretary, Social Development Secretariat, said that no nation could witness any meaningful progress and development in an atmosphere of persistent restiveness due to neglect of the youth.
He stressed that every step should, therefore, be geared toward efforts aimed at ensuring a meaningful life for young people.
He said that the FCTA had consequently put some measures in place to support the youth, in spite the unfriendly economic challenges.