International Youth Day: Buhari restates commitment to create opportunities for Nigerian Youths
• Ban Urges Youth To Lead Global Drive To Break Old Patterns
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday in Abuja reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to improving the quality of life and creating opportunities for Nigerian youths to achieve their dreams and ambitions.
In his message to mark this year’s International Youth Day, the President said his administration was mindful of the fact that “Nigeria has one of the youngest populations in the world,” noting that the roles the Nigerian youths played in the historic election that brought his government to power would never be forgotten.
On his part, the United Nations (UN) Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, has tasked the youth to lead a global drive that would break old patterns and set the world on a course to a more sustainable future.
In a statement delivered during the celebration of this year’s International Youth Day, organised by United Nations Information Centre (UNIC), in collaboration with Strategy for Mentoring Initiative and Leadership Empowerment (SMILE) in Lagos yesterday, Buhari stated: “Those young people are immensely energetic and talented, consistently blazing the trail in the arts, sports, business and technology.
“We are proud of what you have done and what you are able to do.”
He stated that his administration belongs to the Nigerian youths; hence the Federal Government launched a number of initiatives, targeted at expanding the economic opportunities available to them.
“N-Power, our job creation scheme, for which applications are ongoing, will employ 500,000 of you in agriculture, education, healthcare and technology.
“The Aso Villa Demo Day will soon bring 30 of the most innovative young Nigerians to the State House to showcase their talent in providing technology-based solutions to some of our most challenging problems.
“The Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP), part of our N500 billion Social Investment Programme, will provide soft loans to thousands of young entrepreneurs across the country,” he said.
The President added that these are just some of the many initiatives his administration had designed and being implemented for the youths across the country, assuring that his administration would create an enabling environment for them to realise their potentials.
Ban, who was represented by a Director in UNIC, Mrs. Adeola Adedeji, observed that the youth are directly affected by the “tragic contradictions that prevail today between abject poverty and ostentatious wealth, gnawing hunger and shameful food waste, rich natural resources and polluting industries,” stressing that the youth can deliver solutions to these problems.
In the event, themed, The Road To 2030: Eradicating Poverty and Achieving Sustainable Consumption and Production, with a special focus on SDG 12, the UN scribe emphasised that today’s youths have more information than any previous generation, noting that their “dynamism, creativity and idealism” can combine to shape attitudes towards demand and help create more sustainable industries.