Full Speech of Blessing Akinlosotu, President, Nigerian Youth Congress (NYC), On The Occasion Of 2020 Democracy Day Celebrations.
Friday June 12, 2020.
All Praise is due to GOD Almighty who spared our lives to see another June 12th in the year, 2020, under the amiable leadership of His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, President and Commander in Chief of Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
June 12, 2020 marks the 2nd anniversary after a changed from May 29 to June 12 by this present administration in Nigeria. We thank God, that the democratic process have further been strengthened through his dogged leadership skills.
Retrospectively, twenty-one years ago, a democratically elected government took over from the military in a historic transfer of political power for our country.
Today, we are privileged to mark another period of unbroken democratic leadership and 6th peaceful transfer of power from one democratically elected government to another in Nigeria.
Victory is our greatest reward; peace, unity, and greater prosperity will be our collective legacy.
On behalf of the Nigerian youths, under the canopy of the Nigerian Youth Congress (NYC), we wish to appreciate the government for her favourable policies and programmes in the past four years.
The aggressive combat of unemployment amidst the youths in the country through the N-Power scheme, Agro-Soft loans through the apex bank, Bank of Agriculture, Bank of Industry soft related loans for the youths, and lots more are highly commendable while the Nigerian youths are on the lookout for the implementation of the 774,000 jobs for the youths as announced, recently.
It is absolutely true that Agriculture remains the key to our economic prosperity and diversification strategy. To this effect, we wish to appreciate the government for the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative programme that has continued to deliver significant quantities of affordable and high quality fertilizers to our farmers. This initiative has also revived 31 blending plants and created a significant number of direct and indirect jobs across the value chain.
The government has also done well by revamping the cotton, textile, and garment sector via a CBN Textile Revival Intervention Fund that has considerably reduced foreign exchange spent on cotton and other textile imports.
Through the food security initiative by the federal government, known as “Grow What We Eat” and “Eat What We Grow”, we are delighted that more and more Nigerian youths have taken advantage of the opportunities in the agriculture and agri-business sector.
We also want to unfold to the government that the youths are the watchdog of this humanitarian government by unfolding that we have been following the policies and programmes of the government with keen interest as we further acknowledge the protection of farmers through the farmer investments, which has deployed 5,000 Agro-Rangers and employed 30,289 in the Para-military agencies within the country.
The government is also appreciated for integrating rural communities to the formal economy by extending access to credit and inputs to rural farmers and building feeder roads.
However, the Nigerian youths are still surrounded with a cluster of challenges amidst which, we still urge the government to do more for the youth as unemployment is still a major problem bedeviling the lives of Nigerian youths, causing increased militancy, violent crimes, kidnappings, restiveness, and socially delinquent behaviour. Youth unemployment is devastating to both the individual and the society as a whole, both psychologically and economically.
In this regard, we suggest the following; vocational and technical education be introduced at all levels of education. It is an indisputable means of reducing youth unemployment since it is skills-oriented and employees motivated.
Entrepreneurship education should also be incorporated into the curricula of secondary schools. This will help shift the youths from being “job seekers” to “job creators” and from social dependents to self-sufficient people.
In promoting youth entrepreneurship, we plead with the government to concentrate on those activities where youths are known to have a comparative advantage.
Globally, modern information and communication technologies are offering significant opportunities for job creation. The Nigerian
government should, therefore, explore how the ICT industries can provide new jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities for the youths.
They could take advantage of this exploration activities to mobilise the energies
of the youths from destructive tendencies to productive people.
School-to-work transition skills should also be introduced into the curricula of senior secondary schools and tertiary institutions in the nation, specifically, for the final year students who are about to enter into competitive labour market. The training should create avenues for providing experience with a view to promoting and developing desirable work ethics and culture for national development.
Youths should be trained to possess skills that are congruent with the real labour market demands.
Furthermore, the entire youths have come to a realisation on the superlative benefits and opportunities embedded in the “Not too Young to Run Bill” passed into law by the proactive administration of President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, and we say a big thank you to your led selfless administration.
Relatively, we plead that the Buhari-led government make inclusion of young people into the government a priority, that there be a balanced representation of interest at all levels of government. This would indisputably go a long way in curbing series of unlawful activities that young people would have been engaged in.
We also plead the government and the appropriate authorities to look into the cost of political party nomination forms. This has been a very big challenge for the youths and a frustrating instrumentality in humiliating the “Not Too Young To Run Law” in the country.
In this regard, we plead the government to subsequently substantiate the cost of political party nomination forms through the ambiance of the law, so that the effort of this noble government in signing the bill into law doesn’t become a futile struggle.
Nonetheless, we call on The Youth to disassociate self from thuggery, drug abuse, banditry, militancy, social vices, and all illegal activities as we once more congratulate President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, members of the Federal Executives Council, Legislature, Judiciary, State Governments, and Nigerians, admonishing all to remain peaceful and law abiding so as to deepen the country’s democratic values, so that the efforts of our founding fathers will not be in vain.
God Bless NYC!
God Bless Nigerian Youths!!
God Bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria!!!
Happy Democracy Day!!!
Blessing A. Akinlosotu,
Nigerian Youth Congress.