Youth empowerment is the process through which young people in Nigeria are encouraged to develop capacity, skills, strategies, capabilities and authority to make decisions independently which will ultimately change their lives as well as lives of people in their society. Youth empowerment in Nigeria provides opportunities to acquire knowledge and basic skills driven towards self-reliance.
Youth empowerment in Nigeria has been mistaken for SMEs (Small Medium Enterprises) where a private individual, organization, Local, State or federal government create a programme where youths are funded for start up businesses or are engaged through an employment programme such as the N-POWER programmes, Tradermoni, Tony Elumelu Foundation Programme (TEFP) and a host of other Youth empowerment programmes in Nigeria still in force.
The concept of Youth Empowerment in Nigeria revolves around empowerment skills such as life coping, manipulative, intellectual, communicative and artistic skills. I will be discussing these skills in details as i proceed on the subject matter. Youth empowerment is very important, this is because if the youths are empowered, the society grows economically therefore lesser crime rates. The reason is not far-fetched, since the youths are gainfully engaged in one productive venture or the other, satisfaction is derived, hence less crime. This is one of the ways government of various countries, international agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) etc are involved in the creation of programmes that will bring about youth empowerment. A very candid explanation to the above is the United Nations Convention on Rights of the child focuses seriously on empowering the youths to know their demands by ensuring that every child gets an education known as The Rights of the Child Charter which was signed by all countries including Nigeria with an exception of the United states of America and Somalia. The United States refused to sign the UNCRC (United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child) charter because it believed it would impinge on American sovereignty.
Types of Youth Empowerment Programmes in Nigeria
I said earlier that since Youth empowerment is the process of creating an enabling and conducive environment for the Nigerian youths to acquire skills that will in-turn help them in achieving self-reliance and become responsible citizens in the society, the following are the types of youth empowerment in Nigeria that all other empowerment programmes are classified:
- Life Coping Empowerment Programmes
- Intellectual Empowerment Programmes
- Economic Empowerment Programmes
- Artistic and Creative Empowerment Programmes
Life Coping Empowerment Programmes
This type of Youth empowerment are created to help the Nigerian youths especially in the area of constructive thinking, sound communication, ability to independently set goals, accepting and giving supports and most importantly, ability to improve oneself. Life coping skills is predicated on the effort to develop and strengthen individual and personal control through learning of skills, that will be such youth resourceful and successful in life.
Intellectual Empowerment Programmes
This is youth empowerment programme in Nigeria that has to do with the acquisition of formal education. In other words, it is a process of undergoing formal training in an institution of learning. The knowledge acquired from such institution of learning helps in expanding or broadening the youth’s horizon. The programme is also designed to help keep the youth abreast of the current information around his or her society and the world at large and by so doing, the development of the mind of the youths will invariably change his or her senses of perception. Intellectual Empowerment programme is regarded as one of the most important type or form of Youth empowerment in Nigeria.
Economic Empowerment Programmes
This involves the economic activities that will help in the training of all categories of Youth empowerment and capacity building. This makes the youths self-reliant and economically dependent. Through Economic Empowerment programmes, the youths are mobilized to acquire requisite skills that in turn makes it possible to cater for themselves. Such skills include Plumbing, sewing, auto electrical works, furniture making, catering and craft, painting, decorating, farming and a host of others.
Artistic and Creative Empowerment Programmes
Another form of youth empowerment is the Artistic and creative empowerment programme aimed at the development of youths creativity in the area of arts generally, such as;
5 Means of Youth Empowerment in Nigeria
- Family support
- Societal support
- Supports from Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs)
A lot of youths have been hustling on their own to make a living in life without external supports, most especially those from humble backgrounds. Without supports, they struggle by themselves such as engaging in manual labour, hawking and other menial jobs. With the little savings gathered from such jobs, they use it to establish a small business and grow it gradually.
This means of youth empowerment comes into play usually when such an individual is from a fairly well to do family background. Here the family supports the youths with formal form of education and acquisition of professional certifications or soft skills that would empower the individual towards becoming self reliant in no distant future.
Successive governments over the years have established some agencies to enhance. youths empowerment in Nigeria. The include;
a) The National Directorate of Employment (NDE)
b) The National Agency for Poverty Eradication Programme
a) The National Directorate of Employment (NDE): This is the government agency saddled with the responsibility of training all classes of youths for employment and capacity building purposes.
b) The National Agency for Poverty Eradication Programme: Another agency of the Federal government of Nigeria established with the purpose of fighting and eradicating of poverty through offering youths soft loans to establish their personal small scale businesses. Some of them purchase tricycles, popularly known as Keke Marwa for transport purposes.
The society is partly saddled with the responsibility of directing the youths towards the right direction for stronger development of the societies. The youths must be empowered so that they become responsible disciplined, well cultured and most importantly, be self-reliant. If the societies put nonchalant attitudes towards the youths, the societies must be ready for the consequences of their actions.
Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs
Many local NGOs and international organizations have been playing vital roles in youth empowerment in Nigeria. Such organizations are UNICEF, UNAID, Red Cross, Lions Club and so on.
List of Youth Empowerment Programmes in Nigeria and How To Apply
1. Youth Enterprise with Innovation in Nigeria (YouWin)
The Youth Enterprise with Innovation in Nigeria together with the Ministry of Communication Technology and therefore the Ministry of Youth Development functions to encourage the youth who are entrepreneurs in Nigeria.
YouWin also encourages the Nigerian youth to develop their business and provides them with the required skills to make more jobs.
- Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P)
SURE-P may be a scheme established by the federal of Nigeria during the administration of Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, the previous President of Nigeria.
The essence of this program is to reinvest the federal saving from the removal of fuel subsidy on vital infrastructure projects and social safety net programs including an immediate impact on the citizens of Nigeria.
The main aims of this program include providing job opportunities for unemployed graduates by organizing internship programs and managing a database of youth within the country to permit for correct implementation of the program.
3. Npower Programme
The federal created this program to scale back the unemployment of youths in Nigeria. This program is engaged within the development of skills among youths.
This program was implemented within the administration of President Mummadu Buhari in 2016. The organization provides a hub where Nigerians can access skills development and acquisition. They train up to about 500,000 graduates.
However, they typically empower youths within the age range of 18-35 years and must pass various tests and examinations that comes with the program.
4. Youth Empowerment and Development Initiative (YEDI)
This program was established in 2011 with the aim of inspiring the Nigerian youths during a thanks to reduce the rates of HIV and stigmatization within the lives of youths.
This program has an expansion and that they are creating more opportunities for teens and that they target the challenges they’re facing.
5. Youth Initiative for Sustainable Agriculture in Nigeria (YISA)
This program is meant to teach , encourage, correct, motivate, inspire, train, and support youths to require up businesses in agriculture instead of a developmental project.
YISA may be a body of young graduates of Agricultural discipline and other youths who are genuinely curious about Agriculture and are redirecting other youths towards agriculture.
6. Graduate Internship Scheme (GIS)
This scheme aims at creating a chance for 50,000 eligible graduate youths to be mobilized as interns ineffective and functional private/public sector firms to reinforce building the manpower requirement so on drive the Nation’s Transformation Agenda and Vision 2020.
7. Youth Entrepreneur Support Program (YES-P)
This program is a component of the Bank of Industry’s aim to deal with the case of unemployment of youths in Nigeria by promoting the capacity of youths and funding their business ideas.
This program focuses on equipping youths with the talents and knowledge to be self-employed. However, those that participate during this program must be between the range of 18-35 years and must possess a minimum educational qualification of Ordinary National Diploma (OND).
8. African Youth Empowerment Nigeria (AYEN)
This organization aims at developing youths during a way that creates them functional in society. They empower youths through the organizing of workshops, seminars, vocational programs, etc. aside from these, they also provide financial and academic support for kids .
9. Diamond–Crest for Youth Education Foundation (DCYEPF)
This organization functions to reinforce and offer quality education for the youth. Another aim of this youth empowerment programme is to foster ideas for national and international integration via education.
Social relationships amongst the youths through consistent academic activities. To add icing to the cake, workshops and seminars are provided to market the effectiveness and professionalism of teachers and educationists.
They also encourage excellence through seasonal academic contests. Youth education provides sponsorship and scholarship. They also encourage morals and proper social conduct.
10. Youth Empowering People (YEP)
This program has helped to develop the youth mindset especially those of the Niger Delta Region and an outsized number of those youths are put into meaningful jobs and this has helped reduce the poverty rate and unemployment.
11. Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Development Programme (TEFEDP)
The Foundation’s flagship initiative, the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme, may be a 10-year, $100 million commitment to spot , train mentor and fund 10,000 entrepreneurs, capable of adjusting the face of business across Africa. Application are open early January annually and shut by March.
Application is at https://www.tefconnect.com
12. Tony Elumelu TEF-UNDP Sahel Youth Entrepreneurship Programme
The TEF-UNDP Sahel Youth Entrepreneurship programme will train, mentor and financially support 100,000 young entrepreneurs in Africa in 10 years . The goal is to contribute to the general target to get a minimum of 10million new jobs and $10 billion in new annual revenues across Africa.Application is completed at www.tefconnect.com
This is an empowerment programme in Nigeria initiated by the federal of Nigeria under the govt Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) scheme. it’s an interest free loan scheme targeted at petty traders ,artisans and youths across Nigeria.
For the primary time, a participant is eligible to receive 10,000 Naira, after he/she repays, he get 15,000 then 20,000, then 50,000 and finally, 100,000 naira so long as there is consistency in loan repayment. The programme is headed by the Vice President of Nigeria.
How to Apply for Tradermoni
Step 1: Identify any of our Agents in your state
Step 2: You are to capture your details through the identified agent.
Step 3: This is the confirmation stage. You will receive a text message via the phone number you used in registering. You will be sent a text message with a code you’ll dial to receiving the funds through the bank.
Please refer to the example below:
To apply using the tradermoni code. On your mobile ,send sms “TRADERMONI APPLY” to 09060006125
14. Leventis Foundation Agricultural – fully funded One year Training programme
In addition to the regular leventis foundation one-year agricultural training, Leventis Foundation (Nigeria) offer a spread of consultancy services and targeted short courses in several aspects agriculture e.g. Poultry production, Vegetable production, Bee-keeping, Honey production, Fish farming, Mushroom production, Value chain mapping etc.
The comprehensive one-year training exposes the participants to many areas of agriculture and other farm businesses.
Admission is hospitable both male and feminine candidates.
Tuition and boarding (including feeding) is provided freed from charge for successful candidates throughout the duration of the course. The objective of the training, which is freed from ALL COSTS to the beneficiaries, is to make in Nigeria, generations of committed young practical farmers who will act as catalysts for agricultural revolution in their communities.
Application is completed here to apply.
15. Youth Initiative For Sustainable Agriculture In Nigeria (YISA)
As an empowerment program targeting the youth, this programs makes no discrimination against your level of education. no matter the extent attained or not attained, there’s something for you during this scheme.
This program has the target to correct, educate, encourage, inspire, train and support the youth to require up agriculture.
Agriculture isn’t just a development project, it’s an enterprise and this is often how the scheme wants the youth to believe the program.
If you would like for a career in Agriculture, YISA is there for you! Kindly click HERE to start your application.
16. Nigeria Strategic Empowerment Youth Vocational Programme
Nigeria Strategic Empowerment (NSE) may be a developement company that help to eradicate the thought of poverty within the Nigeria among the youth and adult who are willing to vary their life for better future. Ensuring that a youths are skilled in a minimum of one vocational programme and may subsequently become an entrepreneur for robust economic process and development in Nigeria. To apply online please click HERE
Youth Empowerment in Nigeria is here to stay. Judging from the high rate of employee turnover, the both private individuals, firms and government at all levels are ensuring a steady youth empowerment programme is constantly on as a means of softening the harsh economic meltdown and its consequences on the Nigerian youths.
What is your opinion as regards the above? It has come to my notice that other notable and well meaning Nigerians are empowering Youths in their little ways, kindly list the various Youth Empowerment programmes you know that are currently ongoing that are not listed on this page. You can reach me via the comment section for updates.