Another dossier of accolades came the way of Minister of Youth and Sports development, Chief Sunday Dare, on Thursday when millions of Nigerian youths unanimously honoured him with best performing minister award.
The award ceremony which held in Abuja attracted dignitaries across the country.
At the event, the Minister said the present administration was unrelenting in ensuring enhanced investment in the youth working in the informal sector with the provision of soft loans and credit facilities at single digit interest rates to make them self sufficient and key contributors to the growth of the economy.
Chief Dare then enjoined the youth to continuously improve their knowledge with digital training, and become solution providers, entrepreneurs with vast opportunities provided by President Muhammadu Buhari-led government.
The minister represented by his special assistant on multimedia Mr. Toyin Ibitoye at event organised by the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) said over 6000 youth have benefited from special grants while another batch of 20,000 youth are in the process of being the next set of beneficiaries.
He said, “There are no shortcuts to success either as a collective or an individual so for the youth to be our solution providers in this country, they need digital skills, an entrepreneurial spirit and a high level of trust in government so they can maximise the opportunities they are given.
“No nation can lift itself out of poverty and economic hardship or drought without a deliberate action plan to invest in its youth and the informal sector.
“The key to economic growth is the strengthening of our Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs). Our formal sector is struggling and gasping for breath in Nigeria while the informal sector is yearning to be opened up.
“The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development is leading the efforts to invest in the youth working in the informal sector with the provision of soft loans and credit facilities at single digit interest rates.
“This is through the Nigerian Youth Investment Fund (NYIF). Most of you know the details already. It is on the website of the Ministry. N75 billion has been approved by President Muhammadu Buhari, N25 billion per year for three years to lift the youth, make them self starters and key contributors to the growth of the economy.
The minister described the award as a call to greater service and dedicated it to all Nigerian youths.
“This award of ‘Best Performing Minister in Nigeria’ is a call to greater service for me in the pursuit of excellence for the Nigerian Youth. It is a call for more hard work.
“This award is also not a personal award, I refuse to see it as such. It is dedicated to all the youth and to all those who have worked tirelessly, oftentimes behind the scene, with me in the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development. It is a long list. From the Permanent Secretary Alhaji Ismail Abubakar, the directors, the field workers, the secretaries, cleaners, security officers, everyone.
“I am more inspired now than ever before to be totally committed to the Federal Government and the mandate of this Ministry in drawing up policies, initiatives, programmes and projects that will uplift the Nigerian youth.
“Finally, I am grateful for the honours done me with this award and i congratulate the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) for the giant strides taken in recent times. I urge them not to relent in their pursuits in the interest of the Nigeria and her youth,” he said.
The award by the NYCN is coming barely one week after a leading Nigeria media platform, New Telegraph honoured the Minister.
The high point of his remarkable achievements within two years include digital training Programme, NYIF (first ever National Youth Conference), increased allowance of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), infrastructural development at National stadia in Abuja and lagos, welfare of athletes including the much talked about Adopt-an-Athlete initiative.