The Acting President Yemi Osibanjo has called on Nigerian youths to rise up as agents of transformation and condemn corrupt practices among political leaders.
Osibanjo said this on Saturday at the 30th Student Christian Movement (SCM) Biennial Conference in Enugu.
He noted that young Nigerians need to be courageous enough to swim against the current of corrupt practice and play their role in making Nigerian society free of corrupt practices.
“Young people should rise to the position as leaders and say we will not tolerate the stealing of resources. That is the major problem our country has, it is a major problem.
“So, if you challenge corruption as you must, (because that is what you are called to do), if you challenge it, you will be in the minority, you will be swimming against the current.”
He also called on the youths to use social media as the tool to speak publicly against corrupt practices by political leaders.
“If I do not see you young people on social media, condemning those who are stealing or those who have stolen the resources of the state, standing up to say, I condemn what you are doing, then you are not going to change anything.
“We can make a difference and young people can make a lot of difference,” Osinbajo said.
The State Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi also at the event spoke in agreement with the position of the Vice President. He said that he is optimistic that the way forward is to mentor the youth on truth and integrity.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has heaped praises on Nigerian youths sharing stories of young business owners, innovative and tech-driven youths, entertainment giants, among others.
He spoke on Tuesday at The Platform, a programme organised by the Covenant Christian Centre in Lagos. According to him, these young Nigerians have remained focused despite challenges and increased the nation’s national pride and confidence.
The Vice-President also called for joint support for successful nation building.
“What we can do together to ensure that we don’t spend the rest of our days looking forward to path frozen by inaction and resolve to do the same things over and over again while hoping for a different results. I believe the solution is building back Nigerian bridge.
“The bridge will not be one that is built of steel or bricks; this bridge will be built with the wisdom of the elderly and the strength of the youths. All of us deserve some accolades,” he said.
Osinbajo reeled out names of Nigerian celebrities in entertainment industry applauding their contribution to Nollywood, stand-up comedy, among others.
“And then there is the entertainment industry whose main advantage lies in how it transcend tribe, tongue and location to bring joy to the springs of many Nigerians.
“Think how much bliss, the music videos of Clarence Peters and the best-selling comedies of Ayo Makun, Basketmouth, Akpororo, Chigul, Falz D Bahd Guy, Funke Akindele, Jenifa and the talented singer comedian Kenny Black have brought to audiences home and abroad,” he said.
The vice president also said it is the role of the government to create enabling environment for young Nigerians to thrive and nation building.
Nation building, according to him cannot only be achieved from political landscape but by every individual contributing their quota to Nigeria.
“Nation building in its classical sense really just refers to the formal and informal processes by which political leadership attempt to build a national identity, especially in ethnically and religiously diverse societies.
“It is my own thesis that while government’s role is enhancing the vision and creating the environment for nationhood, the real building of nations is done and best seen through the accomplishments of many outside of political leadership.
“Men and women in business in agriculture, in education, in entertainment and the art, who by just doing their business diligently or serving faithfully or making sacrifices contribute to building the economies and social systems, that ultimately build the nation.”
He urged everyone to learn from these young Nigerians who by just doing their own work have faithfully contributed to the building Nigeria’s economy and the building our nation.
“They have increased our nation pride and confidence and inspired others to be the best that they can be,” Osinbajo added.
There have been reactions in various media to comments by President Muhammadu Buhari, criticising youths in the country at a Commonwealth Business Forum in Westminster, the United Kingdom.
In the video from The Cable, President Buhari said many of the youths below the age of 30 are uneducated, but they are waiting for everything to be done for them, just because Nigeria is an oil-rich country.
Speaking to Channels Television on Thursday, the president’s spokesman Mr Femi Adesina explained that President Buhari was referring to some, and not all the young people in the country.
However, many of the reactions have been critical of the President’s comments, some of whom accused him of describing the youths as lazy and being humourous with national pride.
Suffer to Get admission, Suffer NOT to SLEEP with all the LECTURERS of YOUR GENERATION befr I graduate, then SUFFER to TRY NOT SLEEP WITH PEOPLE FOR JOBS TOO! And My country can’t do NOTHING about it ! I am Violated in all Angles #LazyNigerianYouths
Meet Kate Ogechukwu, a Second Class Upper graduate of History and International Relations from Ebonyi state university, decided to go into charcoal selling to make ends meet, due to lack of Jobs.. #LazyNigerianYouthspic.twitter.com/cfvitanKM0
A Federal lawmaker, Senator Ben Murray-Bruce, has decried the alarming state of drug abuse among Nigerian youths saying the majority of young people rely on it to be happy.
Speaking on Tuesday during the plenary at the Senate House of Assembly, the lawmaker said the addiction of drug abuse has eaten deep into Nigerian society including the homes of the majority of Nigerian lawmakers.
“This is a very serious issue and I am sure my colleagues here when they were in school may have had classmates who were on drugs. When I was in high school, a few of my classmates were on drugs.
“I urge my colleagues to go home and pay attention to your children. You may be shocked that somebody in your household is on drugs. Always happy, always smiling and you have no idea why that child is smiling because that child is on drugs.”
The lawmaker who is representing Bayelsa East said the issue of drug abuse is extremely serious as these drugs are easily accessible to Nigerian youths, both the poor and rich who rely on it to be happy.
“There are reasons why people get on drugs. The rich kids get on designer drugs because it makes them high and happy. Poor kids get on drugs because there is a level of hopelessness in their lives and when the drug makes them high it gives them relief.
“When we talk about rehabilitation, it is important we understand why people get on drugs first. Then we figure out a way to solve the problem. If we have 60 million Nigerians unemployed, 11 million kids out of school, 6 million people who just lost their jobs in the last two years, it is not surprising that lots of people are on drugs.”
Bruce added that this serious issue is not limited to Northern Nigeria as some people wrongly believe but it is a general issue affecting Nigerian youths and it must be handled with a focus on the core of the problem.
“This is a serious problem and it must be addressed in a manner that deals with the cores of the problem. They say it’s in Northern Nigeria but it is all over Nigeria.
“It is a serious problem as the drugs are purchased readily available. I urge my colleagues to go home, there is no way 109 of my colleagues will go home and not find somebody in their household who is on drugs. I urge this Senate to take this very seriously,” he said
Yesterday, I spoke on the floor of the senate on the issue of hard drugs in Nigeria, & the solution to the problem. https://t.co/fyfOekf9Im
Senator President Bukola Saraki says to reduce the growing unemployment rate in Nigeria, the marginalisation of young Nigerians must be stopped by including their interest in national planning.
Speaking on Monday during a gathering on youth unemployment and development organised by the Senate, Saraki said it is necessary to consider the issue of marginalisation of Nigerian youths as the issue of unemployment persists despite several laws by the National Assembly on the issue.
“There are still things that we need to do. Those of you who are here are those who deal with this daily. We do hope as we continue to diversify the economy and move from economic recovery to expansion.
“We must end the marginalisation of young people by including their interest in national planning,” he said.
While welcoming participants to the event, he encouraged them to shed light on how the country can begin an inclusive development process that will end the marginalization of young people in the country.
Present at the meeting include the Director, African Youth Growth Foundation, Arome Salifu, Director, Centre For Leadership Strategy and Development, Dr Otive Igbuzor, Program Manager, Youth Initiative For Advocacy, Growth And Advancement Cynthia Mbamalu and the General Manager, Bank Of Industry, Abdul-Ganiyu Mohammed.
The Senate president says this consultative process is to help open up the decision-making process and aid the Senate to begin inclusive development programmes that will embrace a large portion of young people in Nigeria.
President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has said that “government, the private sector and academia must redouble its effort to empower Nigerian youths for entrepreneurship and greater self-reliance.”
He was speaking in his National Assembly office about the upcoming technology and skills building training programme that will be launched in Kwara State on Saturday, November 12.
The Senate President said one of the greatest challenges the country has to grapple with, is the need to gainfully engage the country’s bulging youth population.
“According to the latest estimate from the National Population Commission, Nigeria’s population is now approximately 182 million people. More than half of the population is under 30 and another 40 percent of that are under the age of 14,” Saraki said.
He added that “national leaders like me have the responsibility to take heed to these numbers and develop future oriented technology, training and employment schemes to integrate the younger population into our new economy. We must make these young men and women entrepreneurs who can also be employers of labour instead of looking for non-existing jobs”.
Under the Skills Acquisition, Training and Empowerment Programme (STEP), 40,000 youths are expected to be trained over four years with advanced skills and technology training in areas such as computer engineering, software development, animation, cinematography, event management and many other areas where the participants can grow to be self-employed.
The goal of STEP according to Saraki, is to make participants globally competitive in the sectors for which they will be trained.
He believes such preparation is important for future employment, starting businesses, creating jobs and putting able bodied and motivated youths to work.
“I thought long and hard about how our society can bring youths off the margins of society for entrepreneurship or gainful employment.
“With the help of consultants and other experts, we were able to craft a programme whereby participants will be trained by Nigeria’s best and most successful business leaders, technology entrepreneurs and other industry practitioners.”
Saraki also noted that the future of Nigeria’s economic security rests with how we prepare today’s youth.
He said the International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicts Nigeria’s economy will contract by 1.7 percent in 2017.
“We must ask ourselves, are we to plant the seeds for a prosperous and abundant Nigeria? Or do we ignore the danger signs about the current youth bulge?” the Senate President stated.
“I for one, believe it is a national imperative for us to promote the development and education of our young people today, so they may benefit from tomorrow’s global economy”.
Also in a meeting on held in Abia state on Friday, the Senate President encouraged the purchase of made in Nigeria goods.
While visiting some members of the Leather and Allied Products Manufacturers Association of Abia State, he decried huge revenue of the nation that goes into buying foreign goods.
He therefore warned that any Ministry, Department or Agencies (MDAs) of the government which violates the Public Procurement Law will be dealt with.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has again urged Nigerian youths to look beyond university education and acquire skills that would help them to better advance their careers.
Speaking at the convocation ceremony of Redeemers University, Ede, in Osun state, the Vice President encouraged young graduates particularly to be diligent and take advantage of various international training platforms to improve their status.
He urged them and other students in higher institutions across the country to be innovative to liberate the nation from dependency on developed nations of the world.
Osinbajo, who is the Chairman Board of Trustees of the institution, also admonished the graduating students to be good ambassadors of the institution.
He attributed his status in public service to diligence, honesty, resilience and faith in God in the face of various challenges of life.
“If I had stolen in various capacities I found myself in the past, I won’t be where I am today. My character speaks for me even when I am not on ground to speak for myself. I want you to emulate this and God will take you to the top,” he said.
Recession Will Not Last
The Vice President also assured Nigerians that the economic recession in the country will not last long with mechanism being put in place by the Federal Government.
Professor Osinbajo disclosed that there was no way Nigeria could have avoided the recession since it had in February 2016 lost 60% of its revenue to the activities of saboteurs.
He also identified pipeline vandalism, coupled with the errors of past leaders as some of the reasons for the country’s current economic situation.
A former Chief of Army Staff, Retired General Theophilus Danjuma, who was installed the Chancellor of the institution also called for serious investment in the education system in view of its impact on the socio-economic development of the country.
Best Graduating Student
At its 8th convocation ceremony, the institution sent forth 619 graduands for the 2016 set, nicknamed ‘Chosen Generation’.
Mr Opeoluwa Samuel Adewale-Fasoro in the Microbiology department with a CGPA of 4.97 emerged as the overall best graduating student.
The Vice Chancellor, Professor Debo Adeyewa, said: “Opeoluwa is strong in all ramifications; academically, he is a future Nobel Laurette; spiritually, he is a commando for Christ, while in sports, he is a gold medalist.
He is the ideal son of any parent and the role model in a top notch environment like Redeemers University.
“In accordance with our policy, the university gladly offers him graduate assistant-ship plus a full scholarships for his post-graduate programmes, tenable in this institution as a worthy Ambassador of the Chosen Generation set.”
Nigerian youths have been advised to support President Muhammadu Buhari’s fight against corruption at all levels and put aside all political, religious and ethnic differences.
Governor Rochas Okorocha made the call at the inauguration of Imo State chapter of the Youths Assembly of Nigeria (YAN) in Owerri the state capital in southeast Nigeria.
The Governor, through his Chief of Staff, Mr Uche Nwosu, said that the anti-corruption war by the Buhari led administration was a positive move and a step in the right direction to recapture Nigeria from the hands of those who were hell-bent on truncating and mortgaging the future of the youths.
He observed that the youths had obviously been neglected by previous governments over the years and had been sidelined in the scheme of things.
Okorocha advised them to see themselves as partners in rebuilding Nigeria while he urged them to always guard against actions and utterances that were capable of derailing the visions of the present government.
The Governor believes that the Buhari led administration mean well for the youths and the entire nation.
He called for patience and perseverance even in the face of the present economic challenges, expressing optimism that Nigeria would come out stronger and better.
President Muhammadu Buhari has praised the contributions of Nigerian youths on the outcome of the 2015 elections.
Speaking in Abuja on Wednesday during the event to mark the 2015 International Youth Day, the President commended Nigerian youths for the significant role they played in making the 2015 elections “a model for democratic governance in Africa.”
The President also noted that “the nation’s economic growth has not translated into commensurate and improved social outcomes, especially for our 60 million young people who make up the majority of the population”.
President Buhari added that the “educational attainment by Nigerian youth has increased significantly in the last decade but the relevance of curricula, quality of education and skills required to meet the demands of the job market still remains a challenge for the country”.
He assured Nigerian youth that his administration is poised to provide an enabling environment for the private sector to thrive so as to ensure greater opportunities for jobs to be created for young people.
President Buhari said that his government was also determined to provide adequate infrastructure to boost the ability of “our job creation institutions to increase opportunities for our young people.”
Apart from paying special attention to the growth of small and medium scale enterprises, the President said that his administration would also explore the option of boosting intervention funds to encourage domestic industrialization and manufacturing.
President Buhari reaffirmed the commitment of the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration to fulfilling its campaign promises to Nigerian youth.
“Change for us is not a mere political slogan, but the beginning of a new era desired by the majority of Nigerians”, he added.
Some psychiatrists in Abuja have attributed the rising cases of drug abuse and mental illnesses among young people to frustration and depression, resulting from joblessness in the society.
At a forum organised to sensitize youths about the dangers and effect of drug abuse on their health, the participants said societal rather than biological factors, account for more cases of drug abuse and mental illnesses among Nigerian youths.
According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Nigeria has a relatively high rate of drug abuse due to the continued availability of illicit pharmaceutical products in the country.
Other participants also believe that stigmatization makes drug abuse among youths worse.
Although there are no clear records of the number of youths involved in drug abuse in Nigeria, the resultant effect of such practice has continued to be a concern that both the government and the public must seek to address.
According to UNODC report, Nigeria is a transit point for heroin and cocaine intended for European, East Asian and North American markets.
The Nigerian government has launched a programme aimed at creating more employment for Nigerian youths in the agriculture sector.
The ‘Youth Employment In Agriculture Programme’ (YEAP) was launched on Tuesday in Abuja by President Goodluck Jonathan.
President Jonathan said his administration would not relent in the execution of programmes that would engage the teeming Nigerian youths in profitable and viable economic activities especially in agriculture.
The government also launched a fund that would finance agriculture in Nigeria, creating an opportunity for young Nigerians to access finance for agricultural ventures.
“Nigerian youths will not just take agriculture as a way of life, they will run agriculture as a business.
“Nigerian youths have showcased Nigeria in positive light more than the politicians and Nigeria needs younger and more entrepreneurial commercial farmers, as the ageing population of farmers are posing challenges to the system,” President Jonathan said.
Large Arable Land
The two programmes launched are targeted at reaching up to 750,000 Nigerian units over five years with financial support to enable them establish and run wealth creating agribusiness enterprises.
Nigeria is making efforts to diversify its economy that has depended hugely on revenues generated from sales of crude oil. The diversification of the economy has become a priority of the government at a time that the price of crude has continued to drop.
Prior to the discovery of crude in Nigeria, agriculture has been the mainstay of the economy of the nation, with large arable land left uncultivated.
Unemployment among youths has been identified as one of the biggest challenges facing Nigeria and for the President, time has come to create jobs and lay a new foundation for Nigeria’s economy to grow.
President Jonathan has launched several employment generation programmes in the past and he believes that diversification into agriculture will save the country from a slump in oil prices.
In his speech, the Minister for Agriculture, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, captured the overall goal of the YEAP and the Fund for Agricultural Finance (FIFAN).
Dr Adesina said it was an outcome of the search of those who would help the government to grow the economy and take agriculture to the next level.
Testimonies poured in from some of the beneficiaries of the Fund for Agricultural Finance in Nigeria.
Mosumola Umoru, Samuel Ayinde and Mariam Sanda have benefited from the YEAP/FIFAN programmes and they commended the government for creating access to finance needed in pushing their agribusiness to a new height.
The Ministry of Agriculture has mapped out over $15 million investments, with the support of other world bodies like the German Development Bank, and the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority while the Federal Government has promised to create the enabling environment for the Nigerian youths to grab the opportunity.
The Federal government of Nigeria has launched the National Power Apprenticeship Scheme (NAPAS) which is projected at training 7,400 youths in the power sector to tackle the problem of human capital being faced by the power generation distribution and transmission companies in the Nigerian power sector.
According to President Goodluck Jonahtan, it is another step towards the effort of the administration to improve the employment of Nigerian youths.
The Minister of Power, Professor Chinedu Nebu however spoke disparagingly about the lack of adequate human capital and capacity in the power sector which has become more acute following the reforms.
He wondered why for over 23 years this step has not been taken in Nigeria, noting that negligence had caused a decay in the system.
The training will concentrate on areas such as electrical fidders, cable jointers, climbers and substation operators and the trainees which are from all state of the federation are drawn from school certificates, OND , HND, and degree holders
Goodwill messages came from the National Assembly,the development partners,the Federal Capital Territory Minister and the State Governors
The beneficiaries already taken in for training knows in few months to come they would be among the ones Nigerians would look up to for steady power supply.