The Youth and Sports Ministry has resolved to partner with the MTN Foundation in its purposeful drive to implement its policies and programmes to engage the youths in entrepreneurial and vocational training in digital skills that would make them employable and self- reliant in the society.

MTN Foundation with its wealth of achievements in scholarship and digital – know how can be of great assistance in our determined posture to make the Nigerian Youths digitally and socially relevant in this global mileu of achieving the sustainable development goals by 2030. To this end, the Minister identified 13 key areas in which corporate organizations can partner the Ministry to liberate our youths from joblessness and social vices.

The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare dropped these hints when he received in audience the board members of MTN Foundation in his MKO National Stadium office. The Minister, speaking extempore, informed the visitors that the Ministry has an urgent and deliberate desire to fill and address the yawning digital skills gap of the youths, adding, it has refocussed and deepened its youth programmes, in realization that investment in the youths will unleash their potentials for national growth and development.

To this end, Mr Sunday Dare beckoned on the MTN Foundation to partner and collaborate with the Ministry on its dogged journey of transforming the youths through its National Online Youth Assembly (NOYA) programme. The Minister, while urging the visitors to key into its NOYA platform/programme, explained that it is conceptualised to serve as an aggregator website of the Ministry for creating job opportunities for the youths, based on inputs from corporate organizations partnering with the Ministry.

Furthermore, Mr Dare highlighted other programmes of the Ministry geared towards equipping the youths with digital skills to the MTN Foundation board members, these include the D.E.E.L and DY.NG ( Digital Youth Nigeria) , stressing, these are platforms inititated to train and impart digital skills to the youths to achieve entrepreneurship objective. These programmes, according to Mr Dare, are open for partnership with the MTN Foundation. Continuing, the Minister said the Foundation can also benefit from the Work Experience Programme ( W.E.P) of the Ministry through collaboration. W.E.P ( which cut across various professions and artisanship), the Minister stated is an internship programme to boost the work experience of our graduates( who have resume without experience) and non-graduates.

Responding, the Executive Secretary of the MTN Foundation, Mrs Odunayo Sanya stated that the mandate of the MTN Foundation is fixated on youth empowerment in every ramifications, adding, it is committed to invest and train the youths for national development. From its year 2005 existence, it has consistently funded indigent youths /students to tertiary level through its scholarship programme, including entrepreneurship ventures, the Executive Secretary added. To this end, both officials of the MTN Foundation, Mrs Odunayo Sanya and Mr Tobechukwu Okigbo emphasized that the Foundation is ready and willing to partner the Ministry in its noble aspiration and objective goal of imparting and empowering the youths with digital skills for self-reliance.

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Israel Wellington Jeremiah is the Admin and publisher at Empowerment Opportunities. A seasoned online publicist and an entrepreneur.

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