Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre (YEAC), a civic group, has charged the Buhari administration and the 36 states of the federation including the Federal Capital Territory, to pay more attention to youth and human capital development issues.
YEAC wants President Muhammadu Buhari, and all the governors irrespective of their party affiliations, make real their frequent promises to create jobs, create deliberate social and agricultural programmes aimed at transforming the food production systems through youth innovation for human and planetary health.
Executive Director of the youth group, Fyneface Dumnamene Fyneface, who made the charge in a statement, says in the Niger Delta area, Nigeria’s main oil and gas region, an average youth is the worst in terms of yet-to-be-fulfilled promise to provide them jobs.
‘’Nigeria joined the world on August 12 to mark the International Youth Day (IYD) 2021 with the theme Transforming Food Systems: Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health, yet our public functionaries do not seem to be paying greater attention to youth issues.
‘’Now is the time to act in order to lay a solid foundation for successive administrations in the country to pay adequate attention to youth issues and support them to achieve their full potentials before the age of 30. Lack of opportunities to pursue personal dreams is largely responsible for why they resort to self-help leading to vices like cultism, banditry, insurgency, militancy, hostage-taking and the general level of insecurity that bedeviled us in Nigeria today with the proliferation of small arms and light weapons on the increase in the hands of these non-state actors.
‘’We have observed that most Nigerian youths are frustrated for lack of opportunities, social programs and incentives as well as lack of employment opportunities even after graduation and serving the nation through the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).
‘’On the other hand, some other youths who cannot attain this feast are among others, commodifying cultism, banditry, kidnapping and other threats posed to the rest of us and the country.
‘’These factors have negatively impacted our abilities to transform our food systems through youth innovation for human and planetary health as a nation. It has also negative impact our food production systems as farmers are being restricted from accessing their fields due to insecurity.
‘’Lips service paid to youth issues, Nigeria’s potential to contribute and interlink our youths to global efforts as embodied in the 2030 Agenda for poverty reduction, climate change mitigation, social inclusion, health care and biodiversity conservation among others would be a mirage.
Since it is better late than never, we are calling on the government at all levels to pay adequate attention to youth issues, create employment and entrepreneurial opportunities and social programmes that raises the profile of youths and expose them to opportunities for interlinkages with their counterparts across the country and globally.
‘’In Rivers State for instance, there is so much despair because of the yet-to-materialise employment 3,000 sanitation marshals, 5,000 youth employment into the civil service in the aftermath of the EndSARS protest last October that was described as a strategic masterstroke by the Commissioner of information and Communication among others.
‘’The wayout of the unemployment time bomb in our country is for government at all levels to pay more attention to youth issues for the absolute manifestation of their potentials to contribute to community, local, national and international development. In transforming food systems, youth innovation for human and planetary health, the empowerment of young peiople is fundamental.’’