Youth empowerment suggests the various ways of developing the capacity and capability of youths toward becoming job creators and not necessarily job seekers. The main purpose of youth empowerment is to encourage youths to acquire entrepreneurial skills and knowledge to become independent. This is usually done by providing youths with training facilities and funding or loans.
The need to improve youth empowerment in Nigeria is not the concern of government alone. Youth empowerment concerns individuals and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). If all hands are on deck, the society will be at peace and there will be reduction in unemployment, crime rates or criminal activities. Youth empowerment addresses youths’ restlessness and unemployment.
Agents of Youth Empowerment in Nigeria
Specifically, the following agencies enhance youth empowerment in Nigeria:
- The schools: particularly the Technical Colleges, Polytechnics, Universities etc. through skill acquisition trainings and entrepreneurship teaching and other field work with practicals.
- The National Directorate of Employment (NDE): This isa government agency responsible for the training of all categories of youth for empowerment and capacity building. NDE programme covers all areas of organization, skill acquisition, farming, arts and crafts, carpentry, grants or loans etc.
- The National Agency for Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP): This agency has the major objective of eradicating poverty by offering youths soft loans for establishment e.g. the Keke-NAPEP initiative which provides tricycles and motorbikes with free crash helmets for commercial transportation.
- The role of non-governmental organization as agent of youth empowerment cannot be overruled. Many local communities have benefitted from both local and international organizations when it comes to youth empowerment in Nigeria. Examples of such NGOs include: Red Cross, Lions’ Club, UNICEF, UNAD, USAID and Community Based Organizations (CBOs).