The National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), Oyo State chapter, has called on government at all levels to prioritise youth empowerment and development to guarantee a prosperous future for the country.
President of the group, Mr Akeem Babalola, made the call on Friday, when he led other members of the executive body of the group on a visit to the African Newspapers of Nigeria (ANN), publishers of the Tribune titles, in Ibadan, Oyo State, as part of activities marking the 2016 International Youth Day—which theme is ‘The Road to 2030: Eradicating Poverty and Achieving Sustainable Consumption and Production’.
Babalola, who lamented the neglect of the youths despite their demographic advantage to the country, stressed that any country that fails to plan for its youths and empower them is already planning to fail.
“In Oyo state, because of the high level of sensitisation and enlightenment we have done, there has been no youth unrest.
“We do enlightenment programme on vocational training, entrepreneurship. We have to empower the youths, especially at this point. We are out to enlighten our people to be self-sustaining. They cannot continue to wait for the government.
“There are efforts we have been making as a set of voluntary youth organisations, but we need the assistance of media houses. Government is supposed to give us subventions, but we have not been getting it,” he said.
The Associate Editor, Saturday Tribune, Mr Adewale Emosu, who received the youth leaders on behalf of the management, charged them to fight intellectual poverty among youths and not limit the conception of poverty to material lack alone.
Mr Emosu lamented the poor quality of youths in the country, tasking the youth group to add the campaign on self-development through the resources of the Internet to its mandate.
The Associate Editor, who described Tribune titles as youth-oriented as evidenced from its editorial content, assured the visitors of further support in the area of publicity.
“Tribune will give you everything necessary to achieve success because our founder and the management love youth development. In November, we will be 67, yet we are not old-fashioned. We know how to address the challenges of the youths.
“We have several pages dedicated to entrepreneurship; entertainment and these are youth-oriented. We are here to serve the public and the future; I can assure you that we will not let you down,” he said.