The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare, says building and empowering the youthful population is one of the cardinal objectives of the Buhari administration.
Dare said in a statement that the government was committed to empowering Nigerian youths in education, health, science and technology, politics and leadership.
The statement signed by Ms Patricia Nnandi, a Principal Information Officer in the ministry, said the minister expressed the commitment when members of the United Northern Youth Students paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja.
He promised that youth development would take the lead, with sports also getting equal attention.“About 67 million of Nigerian population is youths and their problems vary.
“We have seen what their counterparts are doing across the world because of what their country is investing in them; the federal government through this ministry intends to put together programmes for the youths.
“These will include self-empowerment and introduction of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises in order to enable them be more competitive and gainfully employed,’’ he said.
Dare explained that the ministry has waded into the leadership tussle in the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), and a seven-man committee constituted to reconcile all factions and their presidents.He promised that any report generated by the committee will be subjected to a higher level of deliberation before reaching a final decision.
According to the minister, youths in this country are hurting themselves because they do not have a united front fighting for them; noting that it is illegal to have four people parading themselves as presidents of the NYCN.
Dare advised that it is important for the NYCN to bury personal interests and work towards reconciliation.
“This will enable a level playing field to conduct a transparent convention and elect an authentic leadership that the United Nations and the World Health Organisation will embrace,” he advised.He drew attention of the delegation to the National Youth Policy, which outlined government’s responsibilities to Nigerian youths in areas of empowerment and leadership.
The statement quoted the president of the United Northern Youth Students, Mr Jibrin Maiturare, as assuring the minister that the group was ready to work with the ministry in the overall interest of Nigerian youths