- The #BeingYounginNaija youth advocacy campaign was launched in September 2020 by the Chioma Chuka Consulting Services
- The project aims to create employment opportunities and positive expectations about the future for young Nigerians
- An event where myriad challenges young Nigerians face was held by the promoters to mark the International Youth Day
FCT, Abuja - Youth activists have called for increased involvement for youth across several sectors to ensure actual national development.
These calls were made as Oxfam in Nigeria’s Work in Progress (WIP!) alliance formally launched phase two of the #BeingYounginNaija campaign to commemorate the 2021 International Youth Day at a virtual town hall event held on Thursday, August 12, and monitored by Legit.ng.
The event, titled "How many youth are left?" was held to explore challenges facing young people in Nigeria and how to tackle them.
In his introductory remarks, the WiP! coordinator, Princewill Ogbodo, explained that the #BeingYoungInNaija campaign is meant to celebrate the resilience & ingenuity of the Nigerian youth.
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He said the campaign seeks to amplify young voices and provide them with opportunities and platforms to express their skills.
On his part, one of the panelists and program officer, YIAGA Africa, Ibrahim Faruk, noted that young people are the nation’s most significant resources and should be harnessed to reposition the country for growth and good governance.
“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.
“But beyond the challenges we face, being young in Nigeria for me means young people are creative, resilient, and undeterred by the challenges that we face.
Young people have continued to knock on the doors of the spaces we find ourselves and in some cases, we are making progress.
He emphasised that young people need to become members of political parties, be part of the decision-making processes, and contest for positions in the future.
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, but, many young people are working hard despite the unfavourable climate we found ourselves in.
I mean, look at #EndSARS, young people died just because they said stop killing us. We must stop, it is not over until it is over.”
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.
Educator & co-founder Educating Africa, Tessy Mosindi, echoed the optimism of other panelists, 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, Yiaga Africa, on Thursday, July 15 hosted key stakeholders and youth groups ahead of the National Assembly public hearing on the Youth Development Commission Bill.
The policy dialogue, think tank meeting attended by a Legit.ng reporter in Abuja was aimed at bringing all stakeholders under one roof to analyse and review the bill.
Speaking at the event, the chairman of the Young Parliamentarians Forum, Honourable Kabir Ibrahim Tukura urged all participants to contribute their quota to ensure that the Youth Development Commission Bill is a near-perfect document.
In a related development, Nigerian youths have been advised by a professional to acquire skills that they can fall back on in the future.
The advice was given by Imu Ovaioza Yunusa, the founder of the Ovaioza Skills Acquisition Centre in Abuja.
According to her, having hands-on skills will enable the youths to survive on their own especially when paid jobs are not available.