Minister charges NIPSS to harness digital economy for youth empowerment 

The Minister of State of Youth Development, Mr. Ayodele Olawande, has appealed to members of National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) to harness the potential of digital economy for youth empowerment and job creation.

He made the assertion in his office when he received a delegation of members of the Senior Executive Course (SEC) 46, 2024 of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, Jos, who were on a study tour of the Federal Ministry of Youth Development, Abuja,Tuesday.

The minister said Nigeria with over 50% of its population below the age of 30, has a significant demographic advantage in the digital age, adding that the youth are tech-savvy, innovative, and eager to contribute to the country’s economic growth.

However, he said they face numerous challenges, including limited access to quality education, skills training, and job opportunities. 

He  added that the digital economy offers a unique opportunity for Nigeria to leapfrog traditional development challenges. With the rise of e-commerce, digital payments, and remote work,  the youth can access global markets, skills training, and job opportunities like never before.

The minister pointed out that, Nigeria must address the issues and challenges hindering the growth of the digital economy. These include:- Limited digital literacy and skills training- inadequate infrastructure, including internet penetration and electricity supply- high cost of data and limited access to funding- Cyber security threats and data privacy concerns- limited government support and regulatory frame works. He said we have to implemented various initiatives, including:- Digital skills training programs for youth, focusing on areas like software development, data analytics, and digital marketing especially in the NYSC-partnerships with Galaxy Back Bone to improve infrastructure, including internet connectivity and alternative electricity supply. Funding opportunities, such as grants, loans, and venture capital, to support startups and small businesses with the launching of the National Youth Investment Fund will help solve some of these challenges, he stated.

“Our goal is to create an ecosystem that supports innovation, entrepreneurship, and employment opportunities for our youth . I urge you all to join us in this journey to harness the potential of the digital economy for youth empowerment and sustainable job creation in Nigeria,” he stated.