Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Barrister Solomon Dalung, has called for adequate investment in youths, saying that is the best way to the growth and development of any nation.
He made the call in Abuja while delivering a keynote address at an event to mark the 2017 African Youth Day celebration with the theme “Africa’s Youth for the Demographic Dividends: Be the Future Today”.
Dalung said the participation of youths is a crucial element in democratic governance, adding that it is a known fact that youth participation improves policy outcomes, enhances the capacity of young people and political institutions.
He re-stated government’s commitment to involving youths in governance, saying that sustainable and successful development of Nigeria lies in the effective participation of youths in every sphere of national development.
The minster noted the commitment of African Leaders to synergise towards mainstreaming youth development, just as he questioned the strength of the youths in contributing to the development of the society.
According to him, the place of the youth in the next 50years throws up a whole range of issues and critical questions, just as he canvases youth inclusion and execution of specifically projects that responds to youth issues.
“Do Nigerian youths have the formidable platform to sufficiently contribute to the development of their societies, actualisation of the SDGs and Agenda 2063.
“Are we participating actively in the critical issues that concerns us or abreast of global demand and expectations from Nigerian youth? Are we providing sufficient leadership for African Youth as an emerging block in global development,” he asked?
The minister further emphasised the need for providing abundant opportunities for the Nigerian youths to tap into, while calling for a multi-stakeholder engagement saying the responsibility of Youth development has shifted from government-based activities.
“Investment made in youth who are our greatest assets will actually determine the development trajectory of the African continent over the next 50years and position the continent towards realising the Africa we want, a strong, united and influential global player and partner as envisioned in the agenda 2063,” he said.
“This is why Heads of Government of member states of the African Union are more than before committed to work in synergy to mainstream youth development in their national development plans, and ensure that youth mainstreaming becomes a continent-wide initiative,” he added.