The National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) has urged the Federal Government to empower youths as a fundamental requirement for national development.
Mr Obinna Nwaka, Director, NYCN Directorate of Political and Democratic Matters, made the appeal at its 2nd Annual Conference in Abuja.
The conference was tagged “Roles of Nigerian youths in fostering peace, accountability and good governance’’.
Nwaka noted that in a country where youths constitute the larger part of the society, they were however faced with the issues of unemployment, neglect, poor welfare and poverty.
He said: “What we want for Nigerian youths is entrepreneurship, 30 per cent affirmation space in political parties and appointments in Local Government Councils, States, Federal and private firms operating in Nigeria.
“Mentorship, youth empowerment, grant, national youth centre in FCT, subvention to National Youth Council of Nigeria, scholarships and core-financing of meaningful youth programmes or projects to give us sense of belonging.’’
The director also appealed to the federal government to restructure youth development programmes to make young Nigerians useful in the scheme of things.
Mr Stephen Ajayi, the Guest Speaker at the occasion, however challenged the youths to get busy so as not to be used by unscrupulous politicians.
Ajayi said that youths must learn how to be industrious, learn different languages, inter-marry and transcend across boundaries in order for them to be independent.
“You don’t have to wait for politicians for you to be useful in the society because once you are hungry; you will do what you are not supposed to do.
“Therefore, you must not place yourself in a position of hunger, so that people will not use you anyhow,” he advised.
Also Prof Kingsley Moghalu, in his goodwill message, said it was time for the government to go back to the National Youth Policy and implement it.
He said that the commitment and participation of youths in the democratic process as well as civic decision making cannot be overemphasised.
Moghalu also advised the youths to be determined to fight their cause with respect and resilience until they are given a chance.
He noted that the youths should ensure that the 2019 elections must be zoned to competence and not to any ethnic group or religion. (NAN)