Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has said that federal and state governments are collaborating with Generation Unlimited Nigeria, a private sector driven initiative, with the aim of providing 20 million Nigerians with digital skills.

He said the project will link beneficiaries with entrepreneurial and other job opportunities and assist them in realizing their potentials.

Generation Unlimited (GenU) is an initiative of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) launched in September 2018 in collaboration with over 200 partners.

Speaking yesterday in Abuja at the formal launching of the initiative in the country, Osinbajo said the project includes three key components – digital skills development, and youth engagement and Youth employment. “It is going to provide 20 million Nigerians with digital skills, link them with entrepreneurial and other job opportunities and assist them in realizing their potentials.

“It was designed to link over one billion young people with innovations and programmes in 40 countries across six continents,” he said.

Osinbajo said Nigeria has one of the world’s largest young populations, adding that they are the nation’s present and its future. He said the cost of failing to invest in the young population is unimaginable.

“It is part of the ambitious goal of reaching young Nigerians with those opportunities, can’t achieve the objectives without strong partnerships, the presidency, the federal ministries and the state governments will be collaborating with Generation Unlimited Nigeria, the private sector, the international community and the young people themselves to make this a reality.

“After extensive consultation with critical stakeholders, it was agreed that GenU Nigeria will have three key components, digital skills development, and youth engagement. Youth employment especially the empowerment of female entrepreneurs is a major aspect of GenU Nigeria.

“In the next couple of years, we will provide digital training, employment, entrepreneurship and engagement with 20 million Nigerians. This process is not only significant for the socio-economic development of the country in the coming years but also provides a learning landscape for developing future job growth-enabling programmes,” he said.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Tony Elumelu Foundation and the Co-Chair of GenU Nigerian Steering Committee, Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, explained that the initiative is about connectivity and bringing together government, private sector, international development partners and the youth to create a Nigeria where the youths are engaged as productive members of the society leveraging on digital technology.

“The aim is to ensure that young Nigerians have access to training and skills acquisition that will make them employable and also connect them to jobs.

“Nigeria has 65 million youth population, adding that to UNICEF working with partners has put in place an incisive digital protocol and landscape to ensure that GenU Nigeria reaches 20 million Nigerian youths with skills training, education, employment, Entrepreneurship and empowerment by 2030,” she said.