The Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mr Muhammad Bello, on Monday, urged youths to develop apps that could address social issues in the country.
Bello made the call during the second phase graduation ceremony of youths trained under the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) YouthMobile project, in collaboration with FCT Administration (FCTA) in Abuja.
YouthMobile project is a programme aimed at empowering youths in the FCT with Information Communication Technology (ICT) skills to enable them to develop applications, mobile businesses, hardware, software, among other skills.
The first phase of the programme started in June 2017 with the training of 418 youths from Bwari and Abuja Municipal Area Councils, who graduated in March 2018, while the second phase was for youths from Abaji, Kwali, Gwagwalada and Kuje area councils.
The second phase of the project had over 600 youths as beneficiaries.
The minister said “this partnership was targeted at driving sustainable development through ICT and it has achieved its goals.
“It is important that you establish outfits to engage other youths for transfer of knowledge and employment.
“We hope that one year after this training, many Nigerian youths would be engaged meaningfully and be able to develop apps to address social issues for the development of the country.
“ICT is just a leveler which the youths should leverage on. Young people are the ones that can change the society and the New Nigeria that this administration is looking up to.”
The minister, however, tasked UNESCO to organise a phase to evaluate the result of the programme from the beneficiaries to it was making the right impact.
UNESCO Regional Director, Mr Ydo Yao, said the organisation recognises the youth as integral partners for development.
Yao added that the youth were the priority of UN systems in the country, hence the need to engage them to be productive.
According to him, ICT is changing the world, transforming societies and the youth need to align themselves to such development.
He said “celebrations like this should be used to reflect on the future with the knowledge gained, you should share successes, challenges for improvement.
“You need to consolidate on the empowerment received, network with each other because our modern society lacks solidarity and no one has the monopoly of development.”
The regional director called on the FCTA to ensure continuity of the programme for consolidation of ICT skills development within the territory.
He added that the organisation was into discussions with Office of the Vice President to encourage the duplication of the programme in the 36 states of the federation for inclusive ICT skills development.
Mr Samson Ogwu, a beneficiary of the programme, said that the training had engaged him to be productive, adding that he had created an application to address drug abuse.
According to him, beneficiaries of the programme will be engaged to be productive with the knowledge they gained, as well as transfer the knowledge to other people.
Mr Emmanuel Suleiman, another beneficiary of the programme, said that though he was a school drop-out, he gained employment through the knowledge and skill he recieved from the programme.