WRITTEN BY DR. UJU NWOGU
Today is International Youth Day. This is in recognition of the role played by the youth in the World.
The annual event is dedicated to celebrating young people’s contributions to conflict prevention and transformation as well as their roles in social justice and sustainable peace. The theme for this year’ celebration, “Youth Building Peace”, is most apt to our present circumstances in the country today, considering the fact that only peace can bring about development and only the youth can build an enduring peace.
In Anambra State, all policies and programmes of the Obiano-led government are geared towards providing an enabling environment for the harnessing of the potentials of Anambra youth towards making them better members of the society. Moreover, a good proportion of members of the executive council and political appointees are talented and educated young persons working assiduously for the attainment of success by the administration. Governor Obiano, described by Ndi Anambra as a youth-friendly-governor, who, on many occasions, reiterated his determination to sustain entrepreneurship as the era of white collar job, is fast giving way to an age of entrepreneurship.
During a Training programme for over 200 youths from different parts of the State, the Governor reminded the participants that his administration is inculcating in them self confidence, equipping them with contemporary skills, to make them self reliant, take them off the streets and awaken in them the reality that entrepreneurship skills is a potential career path in the face of dwindling economic recession and massive youth unemployment in Nigeria.
The Governor noted that developing an entrepreneurship mindset in the youth is a panacea for massive youth employment and a sure path to economic growth. Thus, many unemployed youth in Anambra State have acquired skills in areas which include, shoemaking, confectionary and decorating. Others were trained in phone and computer repairs, solar power, interlocking, landscaping, tiling, fish hatchery, hair dressing and make up.
Those that benefited from the programmes were drawn from the twenty-one council areas of the state and registered youth organizations. While addressing youth corps members posted to State, Governor Obiano noted that skill acquisition and entrepreneurship programmes initiated by his government were geared towards gainful employment as he tasked the corps members to take advantage of the training to equip themselves towards self employment after service rather than wait for paid employment, which is gradually phasing out.
In a bid to discourage the use of drug and illicit drug intake by Anambra youths, the Ministry of Youth Entrepreneurship and Sports Development, in partnership with the NDLEA, held a sensitization workshop for youths from the three senatorial zones in the state during which over one thousand youths from all parts of the state were educated on the adverse effects and dangers associated with illicit drug intake and trafficking, especially among young athletes.
Due to the Governor’s love and concern for the youth and their living healthy and fulfill lives, a one-day-sensitization workshop for youths on HIV and AIDS was equally held to educate these young people on the ravaging effects of AIDS. The youth were reminded that, as future leaders, they could not afford to be destroyed by AIDS as the spread of the disease is as a result of ignorance.
In addition, the agricultural policy of the State government has made farming attractive to young people. Funds are provided for the take-off of small and medium scale businesses to enhance economic growth and self reliance. Furthermore, many young people are now off the streets and fully engaged in sporting activities because there is no dull moment in the sporting calendar of the state. The Governor Willie Obiano’s traders’ cup is on-going while the unity cup soccer fiesta will soon commence and the under-13 soccer jamboree for all secondary schools in the state for both private and public schools will soon commence. These sporting events and activities are all geared towards keeping our youths fully engaged and occupied.
As youths of the state join their counterparts from all parts of the globe to mark the 2017 International Youth Day today at Professor Dora Akunyili Women Development Centre, Awka, they should shun all acts capable of bringing them and the state to disrepute as they are in safe hands under Governor Obiano and their lives and property are secured under the present administration in the state.