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‘Provision of enabling environment vital to innovative youths’

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Youths at the Nigerian Commemoration of the United Nations International Youth Day 2016, gathering in Lagos…yesterday PHOTO: AYODELE ADENIRAN

Youths at the Nigerian Commemoration of the United Nations International Youth Day 2016, gathering in Lagos.PHOTO: AYODELE ADENIRAN

The President of Youth Orientation for Development (YOD), a non-governmental organisation affiliated to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), Mr. Emmanuel Ejiogu, has asked the Federal Government to create an environment that would enable Nigerian youths to deploy their innovative skills.

Speaking at a press briefing to mark the 2016 International Youths Day at the weekend, Ejiogu said in developed climes youths are provided with everything they need to thrive and become useful members of the society. He added that this is not the case in Nigeria where politicians use them as thugs.

Citing the case of 15-year-old Kimberly Anyadike, a Nigerian who flew a single-engine Cessna plane cross-country in the United States, and was said to be the youngest female pilot, he said Anyadike was able to achieve the feat because she had an enabling environment.

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He called on government, politicians and all stakeholders to focus on youths development so that the nation would benefit from their capabilities.Ejiogu said, “A Nigerian youth became the youngest female pilot that flew the aircraft across the United States because she had a very friendly and enabling environment and the government encourages and supports youths to thrive. Nigerian government should encourage our young ones to perform optimally.

“Youths should be involved in decision making in leadership, not thuggery. They should be engaged as partners in progress in developing the country. From the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12, the world is becoming conscious of the need for entrepreneurship and youths will play a key role in this as we have the larger population in the youth age bracket.”

In his contribution, the President/Founder, International Youth Development Foundation, Dr. Okey Orji said youths must be meaningfully engaged so that the country will benefit from them.

“Youths are still the arrowhead of economic development in this nation, thus they must be innovative, creative and must shun every negative attitude in their community,” he said.Government and stakeholders must see them as valuable and not use them as tools for violence.”


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