The National Coordinator/Chief Executive Officer of New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Nigeria, Hon. Princess Gloria Akobundu said that NEPAD Skills Initiative for Africa programme to be flagged off in Nigeria is aimed at redirecting and repositioning Nigerian youths to be the drivers of the Nigerian economy in the future. She stated this when she led the delegation of the NEPAD Continental Office from South Africa on a courtesy visit to Engr. Babachir David Lawal, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF).
Princess Akobundu disclosed that Nigeria was the first of the five countries selected for the Skills Initiative for Africa programme which would be done in collaboration with relevant Ministries, Agencies and Departments, Development Partners, Civil Society Organisations and International bodies.
The SGF in his reaction said that the programme is timely especially at a time Nigeria intends to diversify its economy from oil to Agriculture and Mineral Resources. Engr. Lawal noted that Nigerian youths require skills in Agriculture and also in value addition to make agriculture attractive to them.
Speaking earlier, Dr. Estherine Fotabong, Director Programmes, NEPAD Continental office in South Africa and leader of the delegation, stated that support from the Nigerian government has been consistent since inception. Fotabong explained that programmes in skills acquisition were to stem the increase of African youths trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea in search of green pastures. She added that the Skills Initiative for Africa will focus more on women and the girls.