The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare, on Wednesday, said active engagement of youths remain the panacea to socio-economic challenges confronting Nigeria.
He maintained that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari was committed to implementing social programmes and policies aimed at strategically positioning the youth to prepare them for current and future responsibilities of nation-building.
Dare spoke in Ile-Ife, Osun State during this year’s International Youth Day Celebration, where the Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi hosted the National Council of Youths of Nigeria to commemorate the event.
Represented by Dr (Mrs) Mariam Abdullahi, the minister contended “the theme for the 2020 International Youth Day Celebration “Youth Engagement for Global Action” seeks to highlight the ways in which the engagement of young people at the local, national and global levels is enriching national and multilateral institutions and processes, as well as draw lessons on how their representation and engagement in formal institutional politics can be significantly enhanced.”
According to Dare, “there is no gainsaying that the Nigerian youth now and in the future have a major role to play in how our quest for sustainable development. With the youth come energy, innovation, and optimism hence we must not stop at anything to make there are supportive environments and opportunities to lay the foundation for positive contributions by youth.”
“The President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration is fully convinced that when the youth are fully engaged, the vast majority of challenges facing Nigeria as a nation at the moment will be effectively addressed.”
“I want to use this opportunity, therefore, to reiterate government’s commitment to the full engagement of Nigerian youth through the protection of their rights, provision of opportunities, national ownership and leadership, participation, gender equality, sustainability, innovation, volunteerism, intergenerational knowledge-sharing and by working with, and for young people.”
“The government have been consciously working to raise the level of youth engagement, provide an enabling environment for the Nigerian youth to excel and reach their full potentials; so that the Nigerian society can fully enjoy the immense benefits associated with investment on the youth. In this regards, many initiatives, programmes and activities have been floated.”
“The government recently approved the Nigerian Youth Investment Fund. In line with our commitment to full engagement of the Nigerian youth, the President National Youth Council of Nigeria, Amb. Sukisto Sara Igbe Sukubo, the Speaker Nigeria Youth Parliament and a good number of other young people are members of the Nigerian Youth Investment Fund Focal Group.”
“The NYIF Group which is an assemblage of youth leaders and groups from diverse endeavours, entrepreneurial experts and individuals with youth development and financial expertise is tasked with the responsibility of aggregating stakeholders’ views and inputs and make same available to the technical committee for implementation”, Dare asserted.
In his remark, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi said “Nigeria youths are the drivers of the destiny of Nigeria, but they are yet to take charge of the wheel. The strength of this country is in our diversity. Nigeria youths should stop complaining but come together to work for the success of the nation.”
He challenged the leadership of the Nigeria youths to develop a structure and come up with initiatives that will make them actively involved in the electoral process and leadership selection in the next national elections.
Similarly, Osun State governor, Mr Gboyega Oyetola, who was represented by his Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Mr Yemi Lawal explained that his the government was committed to the emancipation of the youth in the state through the creation of templates that accommodate youths’ participation in governance.
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