The Minster of Youth and Sports Development, Solomon Dalung, said in Osun on Friday that some 462 youths have been empowered nationwide for self reliance.
Dalung announced this at the closing ceremony of the National Youth Empowerment Programme in Ode-Omu, Osun state.
He said that the programme, tagged “A two-week National Capacity Building on Sustainable Livelihood Skills in Agriculture and Vocational Skills for Unemployed Youths,’’ was to build the capacity of the youth in diversified agro-allied and vocational skills.
The minister said the two-week training was conducted concurrently in the six geo-political zones of the country, with participants selected from all the states.
He said 42 per cent of Nigerian youths lacked sustainable means of livelihood and his ministry would seek ways to promote youth participation in nation building by creating an enabling environment for them to realise their full potential.
Mr Dalung, who was represented by Mr Adesola Olushade, Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports, said that empowered youths would be provided with start-up grants of between N120, 000 to N150, 000.
The Osun Governor, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, thanked the Federal Government for organising the youth empowerment programme and tasked states to monitor the progress of the participants.
The governor, who was represented by the Commissioner for Engagement and Youth Empowerment, Mrs Mofolake Adegboyega, called for sustenance and proper implementation of the training programmes, to reduce youth unemployment.
He called on the participants to make good use of the training and seed money to set-up their businesses by forming cooperatives and business groups that would help their growth.
The State Coordinator and Deputy Director in the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Gabriel Oladeji, said all the vocational training was practical in nature.
Oladeji said a total of 111 participants had been trained in the state, stressing that participants were selected from the six South-Western states and trained on entrepreneurship, money and financial products management, aquatic farming, livestock farming, crop farming, events management and cosmetics production.