President Muhammadu Buhari, in his New Year broadcast on Friday, renewed the pledge to support the development of Nigeria’s youth.
Nigeria has a burgeoning youthful population as about 80 per cent of its over 200 million people are below 40 years of age.
Mr Buhari said his administration is committed to the Nigerian people, “especially the youth who need our collective encouragement and support. In securing this nation we need to secure the future of our youth.”
“Our young people are our most valuable natural resource, at home and abroad. Their ingenuity, creativity, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit is evident to all. Many of our young people are excelling in various spheres of life including sports, entertainment, information and communication technology, commerce and are globally recognized as achievers,” the president noted.
Nigerian youth have been faced with several challenges in recent years, but it reached a head in October when a protest led by them called for an end to police brutality at a time the nation’s federal universities had been on strike for over five months.
The fallout from the protests and the grievances borne by some for years led to large scale destruction and wanton looting. Dozens of people including peaceful protesters and security officials were also killed during the protests and after it was hijacked by hoodlums following a government clampdown.
“As a government, we are committed to actively engaging with the creative energies of our young people,” Mr Buhari said in his broadcast.
“In this regard, we will partner with the legislature to develop an enabling environment to turn their passions into ideas that can be supported, groomed and scaled across regions. This will create vast opportunities in fintech, agriculture, business process startups and in the entertainment industry.
“The year 2021 will indeed be a year where we will work to reinforce the hopes of fellow Nigerians in the vision of a united and progressive Nigeria,” he added.
“This administration would continue focusing on delivering key strategic priorities under our “SEA” – (Security, Economy and Anti-Corruption) Agenda. Some of the key priority areas we would direct our attention and strengths.”
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