Mr Sunday Dare, Minister of Youth and Sports Development, has called on Rotary Club International to carry out programmes that would reduce the rate of unemployment among Nigerian youths.
Dare made the call during his remarks at the All Nigerian Rotary Conference 2021 on Saturday in Abuja.
The theme of the Conference is, “Uniting Nigeria through Rotary”.
Dare said the cardinal objectives of Rotary, such as promoting peace, growing local economies, supporting education; fighting diseases and their likes, make Rotary a formidable partner with Government.
“Our National Youth Investment Fund (NYIF), a N75 billion soft loan for Small- and Medium-Scale Enterprises (SMEs) was approved by President Muhammadu Buhari last year.
“The target is to grow economies of our vibrant youth enterprises. Crafted as a three-year loan of N25 billion annually with each beneficiary getting between N250,000 to N3 million.
“About 6,054 entrepreneurs have benefited so far, while another 25,000 are on standby to go through the specified training before funds disbursement. Our national GDP, accounting for 96 per cent of businesses and 84 per cent of employment, growing local economies must also mean growing SMEs.
“Engaging the Youth and keeping them busy is key to promoting peace. Therefore, if this mission of Rotary must be achieved, we must work together to keep the Youth busy and reduce the rate of unemployment among them,” Dare said.
He said aside humanitarian focus, Rotary International should also focus on policies and programmes that would empower the youths across the country to reduce unemployment.
On the theme of the Conference, Dare said uniting Nigeria through Rotary must include deliberate efforts at encouraging volunteerism.
Speaking, Rotatian Okey Okonkwo, the District Governor of D9142, said “all members of Rotary in the four districts were in Abuja to share fellowship, rekindled friendship, open up more.opportunities of partnerships and collaborations to ensure we do our work better.”
Okonkwo said Rotary emphasised on leadership and would continue to preach, spread and profess peace and good leadership quality.
Similarly, District Governor of D9125, Rotarian Ayoola Ayedokun, said the conference was unique because all clubs and districts were represented.
“One of the focus of Rotary International is peace and conflict resolution and what we do as rotation is to allow the change to begin with ourselves and then by extension promote peace in our community and beyond”.
Meanwhile, Rotarian Remi Bello, the District Governor of D9110, said rotary is about humanitarian activities, because uniting Nigerians has to do with humanity.
“We want to see how we can use our act of service to unite people in the spirit of giving,” Bello said. (NAN)