President Mohamadu Buhari on Wednesday commended youth in the country for their role in the success of the 2015 general elections.
As part of his speech at an event to commemorate the 2015 International Youth Day, the President said the ruling All Progressives Congress would fulfill all its campaign promises and asked the youth and all Nigerians to be patient.
“The role you played, individually and collectively, as peaceful members of the electorate and galvanising the social media platform and mobilizing your peers to make the right choice, made the 2015 General Elections a model for democratic governance in Africa,” the President said.
“Let me reiterate that we are very much committed to fulfilling all our campaign promises. We, therefore, seek your cooperation and patience in this regard,” He added
President Buhari assured that change is not a mere political slogan for the party, but the beginning of a new era desired by Nigerians, adding that the youths should be the change they expect to see.
He noted the need for the engagement and participation of young people to accelerate economic growth and sustainable development.
“According to the figures I have been presented with, at least 20 percent of the continent’s population of 1.2 billion is between the age bracket of 15 – 24 years, with about 42% below 15 years of age. As the rest of the world gets older, Africa is getting younger,” the President stated
He said one of the greatest challenges facing governments and policy makers in Africa is the provision of employment opportunities to young people.
The president added that the youth constitute a tremendous labour force that could make Nigeria one of the leading nations of the 21st century.
He recalled the meeting by African leaders in Malabo 2011 which was aimed at providing employment for at least three per cent of its unemployed young people every year.
This, he said, would be achieved by accelerating the implementation of the Youth Decade Plan of Action (2009 – 2018) and the Ouagadougou 2004 Plan of Action on Employment Promotion and Poverty Alleviation.
He lamented that economic growth has not translated into commensurate and improved social outcomes in Nigeria, especially for the country’s 60 million young people
“I want to assure you that the new administration will place high premium in tackling challenges facing the youth sector. High unemployment rate and inadequate qualified youths across the country,” the President stated.
“We will strengthen our academic and vocational training institutions as well as significantly improve our healthcare delivery system,” the president added.
He said the efforts will help reduce criminal activities and terrorism since sustainable development cannot take place in the absence of peace.
August 12, the international youth day, is a result of the United Nations Resolution 54/120, reached on December 19 1999, to celebrate and appreciate youth for their contribution to various communities around the world.
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