Leadership (Abuja)

Nigeria: World Bank Budgets U.S.$300 Million for Youth Employment in Nigeria

The World Bank has budgeted 300 million dollars for Youth Employment and Social Support Operation (YESSO) scheme in Nigeria, Marie-Francoise Mariel-Nelly, Country Director of the World Bank in Nigeria said.

Mariel-Nelly made the statement in Abuja on Tuesday at the 53rd Annual conference of the Nigerian Economic Society (NES).

"We are preparing a Youth Employment and Social Support operation (YESSO) aiming at supporting the provision of immediate work opportunities and skills development for unemployed youths and women from poor households," she said.

Mariel-Nelly said increasing youth employment was one of the bank's global priorities as it had observed that one in five of all new job seekers in Africa were Nigerians.

"The 300 million dollars project will cover all parts of the country in up to 20 states," she said.

Mariel-Nelly also said that the World Bank with support from the EU would launch the State Employment and Expenditure for results project (SEEFOR) in the Niger Delta region.

She said the aim was to take youths off the streets as well as improve the country's infrastructure.

She said that through ACCESS Nigeria, the bank had demonstrated commitment to opening employment opportunities for graduates of Information Communication Technology through target training in core competencies benchmarked to global industry standards.

"The bank provides matching grant as seed money to empower young farmers to adopt new technologies and acquire capital assets, which they use to undertake a wide range of value addition and small-scale income generating activities," she said.

She said youth unemployment was a threat to social and political stability as was evident in the youth restiveness in the Niger Delta.

Mariel-Nelly said the bank would continue to support government efforts to address the challenge of unemployment in the country (NAN)

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