A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Princess Ada Ogbu has enjoined Nigerian youths not to occupy the back seat as the country moves to another political phase.
Ogbu, who is the APC senatorial candidate for Enugu West Senatorial zone, said the youths should be well positioned to take part in Nigeria’s development and legislative process.
In a statement she made available to the media in commemoration of the 2022 International Youth Day, the APC chieftain said the United Nations (UN) instituted International Youth Day would “aid in drawing awareness to the ever-burning issues pertaining to youths the world over.”
While maintaining that the problems facing the youths were not insolvable, she rallied stakeholders to “put hands on deck as we work hard toward finding lasting solutions, especially for the sake of the African and Nigerian youth. It’s a day for reflection and for taking action.”
She expressed optimism that “the youths can be a positive force for development when provided with the knowledge and opportunities they need to thrive.
“Today, there are 1.2 billion young people aged 15 to 24, accounting for 16 percent of the global population; they constitute a great force and change agents.
“Nigeria is a country blessed with a large percentage of its population youths who are young, energetic, innovative, and industrious. Nearly 70 percent of Nigeria’s population are youths and children.
“This tremendous number of youths can bring positive changes to society if given the right opportunities. But, the youth in Nigeria is faced with a myriad of challenges, ranging from unemployment, underemployment, stress management, poverty, and other uncertainties.
“The Nigerian National Bureau of Statistics in 2016 placed the unemployment rate at 65%; this means that unemployment and lack of employment opportunities have ranked top of the list of challenges facing young people today, especially in Nigeria.
“Thousands of youths with qualifications ranging from ONDs to MSc, and even PhDs have had to endure years of joblessness, including professionals, and specialties.
“In the midst of these, the Nigerian youth has pushed against the tides, excelling in their chosen areas of endeavour.”
Ogbu called for sound policies to be put in place and backed up by political will, adding that the youth should be equipped for greater service to Nigeria, and for global competitiveness.
“African youth can exercise more faith in themselves and hope for a better tomorrow because they are better productive agents of society.
“The youth in Nigeria can as already seen, demand and press more for self-inclusion in the developmental and legislative processes of Nigeria. I believe so much in the Nigerian youth,” she further stated.
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