Nigerian youth activists have said young people are the nation’s most significant resources and should be harnessed to reposition the country for growth and good governance.
The activists said Nigeria youths are more than mere statics ,for increased involvement for youth across several sectors to ensure actual national development.
They made the call during a virtual town hall meeting held on Thursday, organised by Oxfam in Nigeria’s work in Progress (WIP) tagged “How many youth are left?” was held to explore challenges facing young people in Nigeria and how to tackle them.
The WiP! Coordinator, Princewill Ogbodo, explained that the #BeingYoungInNaija campaign is meant to celebrate the resilience & ingenuity of the Nigerian youth. He said the campaign seeks to amplify young voices and provide them with opportunities and platforms to express their skills.
Yiaga Africa, program officer,, Ibrahim Faruk, noted that “There has been remarkable progress in the wake of the #NotTooYoungToRun campaign. However, young people also have an opportunity to take part actively in politics. We need to take advantage of the ongoing Voters Registration exercise being carried out by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to register & vote during elections,” he said.
Hassana Maina of the #ArewaMeToo Movement decried the state of the youth in the nation, saying, “Being a young person in Nigeria is tiring and exhausting, mainly because the system has not lived up to expectations in the administration of justice.”
She called for an overhaul of the judicial system and encouraged young Nigerians, asking them not to give up on their dreams for a better standard of living.
Another panellist, Olumide Idowu of the International Climate Change Development Initiative (ICCDI), identified a gap in collaborative processes in the search for positive changes in youth welfare.
“We must seek avenues of collaboration and build solid movements for the solutions we want to see in the future,” he noted.
Educator & co-founder Educating Africa, Tessy Mosindi, echoed the optimism of other panellists, urging young Nigerians to believe in their ability to transform the nation.Young Nigerians should use the enlightenment they’ve gotten to make changes and volunteer in their communities. We need to change the way we value ourselves, and with education, you’ll value yourself.”
Participants, Idris Mohammed and Yunusa Abubakar expressed hope that the #BeingYounginNaija campaign would encourage Nigerian youth to participate in governance activities and use their skills to better society.
Meanwhile, #BeingYounginNaija youth advocacy campaign was launched in September 2020 & is implemented by Chioma Chuka Consulting Services (CCCSL). The Project aims to create employment opportunities and positive expectations about the future for young Nigerians by focusing on the labour market’s supply, demand, and enabling environment.