Deji Elumoye in Abuja
President Bola Tinubu and the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the 2023 presidential election, Mr. Peter Obi have reaffirmed their commitments to the development of the Nigerian youth.
In a statement issued yesterday by his Media Adviser, Ajuri Ngelale, to mark the 2023 International Youth Day (IYD), the president restated the commitment of his administration to creating meaningful opportunities for Nigerian youths.
He stressed that from job creation, education, and skills development to digital innovation, financial technology, and youth participation in governance, youth empowerment is a fundamental pillar of all reform actions being implemented across sectors, to create an environment where Nigerian youths can thrive and contribute to the growth and development of the nation.
President Tinubu acknowledged the growing interest and impact of many young Nigerians in technology-related fields the world over and vowed to honour his campaign commitment of generating one million new jobs in the digital economy for their upliftment and national economic development more broadly.
He strongly expected in the principle, “to whom much is given, much is expected,” and remained undeterred in his focus on delivery.
As agents of change, the president urged the youth to champion national progress, unity, and collective prosperity for all citizens of our beloved country.
In tandem with the theme of this year’s event: ‘Green Skills for Youth: Towards a Sustainable World,’ President Tinubu implored young Nigerians to spearhead efforts aimed at achieving the highest quality of sustainable development, which will shape the future of our planet in conformity with his agenda of expanding green job opportunities and advocating for renewable energy solutions as an integral part of Nigeria’s current and future energy mix.
On his part, Obi has also called on Nigerian youth to remain positive and hopeful for the coming of a New Nigeria, which, he said, will be anchored on youth development and productivity.
Obi made this call in his message to mark World Youth Day. He explained that the current political confusion and economic challenges in the nation should not discourage the youths, but motivate them to remain committed and resolute in the struggle for a new and better Nigeria.
“Unless we remain committed to the struggle for a better nation, we will not be able to achieve the New Nigeria of our dreams. We must remain resilient and persevere against every hardship and obstacle on our journey to a new nation,” Obi said.
The former Anambra State governor stated that many of the nation’s challenges will be overcome if the leaders paid attention to youth development and productivity. He blamed the high level of insecurity and high rate of social vices associated with youths like drug and other substance abuse as well as the high inflation rate in the country to the high unemployment rate among the youthful population in their productive ages.
“According to reports, Nigeria tops in the ranking of countries with the highest rate of unemployment in the world, with a 33.3 percent unemployment rate. And further findings show that Nigeria’s unemployment rate would further rise to 40.6per cent, due to the continuous flow of job seekers into the job market.
“With this high rate of youth unemployment where more than half of the population in their productive age are not working, the nation will continue to stagger under the weight of many economic and social challenges. It’s only by providing job opportunities and massively supporting the growth of small businesses in the country, that the challenge of high insecurity, rising inflation, etc will be taken care of,” Obi added.