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Tinubu to Mastercard Foundation: Nigerian youths are talented, can compete globally

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu (middle) in a Group Photograph with the Visiting Mastercard Foundation's Team in the Presidential Villa, Abuja, FCT Photo: State House

*President Bola Ahmed Tinubu informs the visiting Mastercard Foundation team that his administration will strongly support more Public-Private Partnerships aimed at creating dignified work and employment opportunities for the Nigerian youths

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

As part of the Federal Government’s continual efforts at ensuring the West African country creates 10 million jobs for young people in the next years, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has affirmed that Nigerian youths are vibrant, talented, eager to learn, and ready to compete globally.

President Tinubu stated this while speaking during a meeting with Ms. Reeta Roy, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Mastercard Foundation, Wednesday, January 24, 2024, in Abuja, FCT.

The Nigerian leader told the visiting Mastercard team that his administration would strongly support Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) aimed at creating dignified work and employment opportunities for Nigerian youths.

Chief Ajuri Ngelale, Presidential Spokesman, in a statement Wednesday, said the President commended Mastercard Foundation’s initiative, which aims to create 10 million jobs for young people in the West African country.

Tinubu also noted the programme aligns with his Renewed Hope Agenda for economic development and job creation in Nigeria.

”We believe in what you are doing. We are determined to run an inclusive government and change the dynamics and perception of this country. Nigeria is the largest economy in Africa and, as such, must take its leadership of this continent very seriously.

”We must give hope and assurance to our teeming youth population. God has blessed Nigeria with a vibrant youth population, ready to learn, and capable of competing in the global economy of the 21st century. Leadership is what is necessary,” stated he.

Tinubu further said: “The  incubation is growing, and we are earning a good reputation, and we will continue to do that across sectors of the economy in order to achieve sustainable growth.”

The Nigerian leader as well welcomed Mastercard Foundation’s emphasis on digitisation in view of the role of technology as a potent and indispensable tool against corruption.

The President explained: “We are ready to work with you and remove all impediments, and we have assembled a great team to work with you.

“The hope of the youth must be built on a solid foundation of sustainable growth and prosperity. We are working with other partners, and we assure you of our robust and focused collaboration.”

In his remarks at the meeting, Dr. Muhammad Ali Pate, Coordinating Minister for Health and Social Welfare, confirmed the wide-reaching impact of the Mastercard Foundation across Africa and its proven capacity to change the fortunes of human capital development in Nigeria.

Pate said: “This is an institution that holds assets worth more than $40 billion and they are prudent in ensuring that their resources are applied digitally, and in a way that reaches their target beneficiaries directly.

“Mr. President’s strong commitment to reforming social intervention and health service delivery in Nigeria will be greatly boosted through this partnership.”

Ms. Reeta Roy, CEO of Mastercard Foundation, informed President Tinubu, that the Foundation’s focus on education and financial inclusion in Africa, particularly in Nigeria, aims to impact 30 million young Africans by 2030.

The Foundation’s Chief Executive also reported progress on the Foundation’s 10 million target for Nigeria.

She equally stated that 2.1 million young people trained under the ‘Young Africa Work Strategy’ are already engaged in dignified work.

According to her, no fewer than seven million people have gone through programmes classified as work enablers, including skill acquisition, education, access to financial tools, networks, or linkages into opportunities.

Roy further noted: “We are still on a journey and have more work to do.

“We are excited about looking at a whole new frontier, and that is in the healthcare sector.

“While we may not historically be a health organisation or health foundation, we are looking at that sector as part of a vibrant economic landscape ripe with opportunities for young people and our focus will be on workforce development.”

The CEO of Mastercard Foundation said: “Thank you for placing young people at the heart of your economic growth agenda across multiple sectors. We appreciate your contributions to the health sector.

“I know there are many things that require your time, but I am really grateful and very much encouraged to see that healthcare and education are also critical parts of the way forward.

“We hope that you find in us a partner that is steadfast, open, and ready to learn.”

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