As the world marks the 2023 International Youth Day (IYD) today, Saturday, August 12 with the theme “Green Skills for Youth: Towards a Sustainable World”, the Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre (YEAC-Nigeria) has called on the government at all levels to create Green Skills Development Centres and Trust Fund for young people for opportunities to develop their skills, access funds and effectively participate in the green economy for a sustainable Nigeria.

The youth organization made the call in a statement in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital signed by its Executive Director, Fyneface Dumnamene Fyneface as part of activities marking the 2023 International Youth Day.

Mr. Fyneface stated that according to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), Green skills are “knowledge, abilities, values and attitudes needed to live in, develop and support a sustainable and resource-efficient society” and the creation of “Green Skills Development Centres (GSDC) in the 774 local government headquarters across the country where young people can acquire green skills to effectively participate and support the transitioning to a low carbon, greener and environmentally sustainable economy with a national coordination centre (NCC) is imperative.

Fyneface further said that the “Green Skills Development Trust Fund (GSDTF) that should be created by the federal government should serve as source of funds to not only run the GSDCs but also provide soft loans for those who have developed their skills from the Centres and came up with green economic business ideas for sustainable participation in the green, low carbon economy. Adding that, both state and local governments should participate in the scheme through state and local government offices through necessary supports and the provision of land, infrastructure and maintenance of the facilities among others.

On how the scheme would be funded Mr. Fyneface said “The Green Skills Development Trust Fund (GSDTF) which the federal government should create through an Act of the National Assembly (The President of Nigeria, Bola Tinubu/the Federal Government should forward an Executive Bill to the National Assembly for an Act for the establishment of “Green Skills Development Agency (GSDA); “Green Skills Development Agency Establishment Bill 2023) can be funded through 2% percent of crude oil revenue and 2% of other mineral resources including taxes, levies, duties and funds from other sources like donations, grants, gifts, etc.

Mr. Fyneface further proposed that to properly mobilize greater percentage of youths and train a new generation of Nigerians including children for energy transition and green economy towards a sustainable Nigeria in line with the country’s strategy to reach a net-zero emissions energy system by 2060 through the National Energy Transition Plan (ETP) launched on August 24, 2022 by former Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; government should review the nation’s school curriculum at all levels to include courses, subjects and lessons on green skills for youths, energy transition, green economy, clean and renewable energy at the University, polytechnic, secondary school and primary school levels.

The environmentalist said YEAC-Nigeria believes that the implementation of this proposal would put the country on a strategic fast lane of green skills development and industrialization along green economic lines towards a sustainable Nigeria ahead of the year 2060.

Advocacy Centre uses the opportunity of the IYD to congratulate the youths, extol their virtues and the resilience of Nigerian youths who have continued to thrive hard in their different fields of human endeavours despite prevailing challenging situations in the country, winning laurels and making our communities and the country proud.

Fyneface Dumnamene Fyneface,

Executive Director, YEAC-Nigeria.

August 12, 2023.