The Federal Government of Nigeria has stopped giving grants to youths, instead, they will be giving revolving loans.
The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, stated this in Awka, the Anambra State capital at the end of a two-day workshop organised by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Ibadan in conjunction with the National Root Crops Research Institute Umudike/International Fund for Agricultural Development.
The workshop was titled “Challenges and opportunities for rural youth employment in Sub-Saharan Africa: A mixed-method study to inform policy and development programmes.”
The Minister who alleged that most of the grants given to the youths were misappropriated and in some cases squandered, said “With this we have decided that there would be no more grants to the youths, instead they shall be given loans that they will repay after an agreed period so that others will benefit from the same scheme.
Dare said the Federal Government had created several windows to engage the youth in agriculture and other vocations through the establishment of two centres in the north and south.
Represented by an Assistant Director of Vocational Skills in the ministry, Adamu Usman Kaina, the minister called on well-spirited individuals and corporate bodies to partner government for the empowerment of the young people across the federation.
He said the youth should have a mindset of creating value for themselves.
He said, “Lessons learnt from the nationwide #EndSARS protests showed that every young person believes that those in government are their enemies.
He said about 4600 youths had benefitted N500,000 each from the COVID-19 gesture of the government.
Speaking, the Gender and Social Scientist, IITA and IFAD-IDS Youth Research Project Lead/Representative (Nigeria), Dr. Bela Teeken, observed that the study, which was carried out in collaboration with the Institute of Development Studies, United Kingdom, sampled four communities of Ida Amu/Igbokiti and Oba Oke in Osun State, as well as Umumbo and Igbariam in Anambra State.
Teeken said selected male and female youth were engaged in focus group discussions to understand current rural employment dynamics.
Some of the problems identified as confronting the youths included lack of access to agricultural loan, poor transportation facilities and multiple taxations.