THE Minister of Agriculture, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, has urged Nigerian youths to embrace the various empowerment programmes of the Federal Government to enhance their welfare.
Akinwumi made the call at the Chukwuemeka Odumegu Ojukwu University, Igbariam in Anambra on Friday during a one-day sensitisation workshop.
The minister who was represented by Mrs. Nneka Ihechinyere, a Director in the Ministry of Agriculture, said the Agricultural Transformation Agenda had created opportunities for Nigerian youths.
He said the Youth Employment in Agriculture Programme (YEAP) was targeted to create over 750,000 jobs across the country, adding that entries were being collected in 12 pilot states.
He said the Federal Government was determined to ensure that the economy was driven by young entrepreneurs and urged them to continue to support it for sustainable development.
Also speaking, Ms Chito Onuzulike, Head of Small and Medium Entreprises Development Agency (SMEDAN) in Anambra, said the agency was now domesticated in states of the country to encourage small businesses.
Onuzulike said SMEDAN was the entrepreneurship building component of the government’s empowerment value chain to complement the Industrial Training Fund and Bank of Industry.
She advised youths to develop business ideas driven by passion and vision to fill a demand gap, adding that the Small Enterprises were the largest employers of labour.
Prof. Uche Akam, Director of the institution’s Centre for Entrepreneurial Studies, lauded the government’s effort in empowering the youth.
Akam said that the growing population of educated youths had overwhelmed available jobs, adding that it was only skills of value creation that could give an edge to the new generation.
One of the participants, Mr. Ben Okafor, told newsmen that his orientation had changed because of the lectures he received at the seminar.
Okafor said he did not know such opportunities existed and promised to educate his friends on the programmes.
The organiser of the workshop, Mr. Sheriff Zadok, said the Pressplay of the United Mandate Group was carrying out enlightenment to acquaint the youth with the government’s programmes.
Zadok said he was impressed with the turnout at the event and pledged to mobilise the youth to key into the opportunities.
He said that Pressplay would ensure that the students’ community in the South East appreciated the good jobs of President Goodluck Jonathan administration.

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