Report from Federal Ministry of Youth Development.
The Minister of Youth Development, Mr. Boni Haruna has added his voice to the call for the establishment of a United Nations agency on youth similar to the United Nations Agency on women, while expressing Federal Government’s willingness to host the agency in Nigeria.
While speaking at the just concluded World Conference on Youth, 2014 at Colombo, Sri Lanka, 6 to 10 May, the Minister during the presentation of the country’s position to the about 169 delegates from across the world, claimed that the establishment of such an institutional platform under the United Nations System will afford the youths of the world a global voice.
Alluding to the recent creation of Commonwealth Youth Council, Mr. Boni Haruna reasoned with the UN Youth Agency that the youths will be given a platform to harness their resources and contribute significantly to world debate and development through a single coordinated voice.
Whilst still presenting the country’s position on youth matters, Haruna revealed that the Transformation Agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan administration was conceived as a development strategy for effective transformation of the youth sector especially, in the post 2015 sustainable development agenda.
The Minister averred that the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan has done considerably well in addressing youths’ challenges and in moving the sector forward through proactive and economic based programmes and initiatives. He cited YouWin, Youth Employment In Agriculture Program (YEAP), SURE-P and the proposed National Youth Development Fund as part of Government’s initiatives to create employment opportunities for the youths.
Mr. Haruna stated that “In all these areas, there have been visible Government intervention programs. The strategy for the implementation of the policy thrust of the Transformation Agenda is that it is multi sectoral driven. Indeed, almost all the MDAs and the private sector agencies have youth development component whose programs have impacted positively on the Nigerian Youth.”
The Minister noted the challenges facing the youths in Nigeria such as joblessness and disconnection from mainstream development initiatives, he stated that these have combined to lead to the present security challenges in the country.
He however, said: “In spite of these challenges, the Youth sector has remained vibrant. The Nigerian Youth have continued to find relevance and prove themselves where opportunities abound. It was here in Colombo last year that a Nigerian Youth and a product of our own Youth Parliament where he was one time its Chief Whip emerged as the inaugural Chairperson of the Commonwealth Youth Council.”
Mr. Boni Haruna commended the organizers for the theme of the conference which is on mainstreaming youth issues in the post 2015 Millennium Development Goals, saying “ We are happy to be part of this epoch making conference because it is the first of its kind as an avenue for policy makers and the target group (youth) to discuss and set a development Agenda with emphasis on mainstreaming the youth in the post 2015 Millennium Development Goals.”
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