The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare has stated that the principles guiding the creation of the Nigerian Youth Parliament must be adhere to in order to achieve the desired outcome. He confirmed the assertion at the Opening Session of the 1st Sitting of the 4th Session of the Nigerian Youth Parliament in Kano today, the 29th December, 2019.
The Minister represented by the Perm. Sec, Mr Gabriel Tanimu Aduda expressed appreciation to the Government and people of Kano State for collaborating with the Ministry in hosting the event. He went down memory lane to remind the gathering that the Nigerian Youth Parliament was formally inaugurated in 2008 in line with the United Nations call on member states to establish a platform through which Young people can adequately contribute to decision making processes on issues that concern them as well as inculcate in them democratic principles and leadership qualities.
Mr Sunday Dare said that with the inauguration of the 4th Session of the Nigerian Youth Parliament, May 28, 2019 the Ministry and its stakeholders have been working to ensure that the Parliament begin sittings, conclude elections of its principal officers and begin deliberations on important issues affecting our youthful population.
In the keynote address the Hon Minister outlined the activities of the Ministry for the youth such as the one week leadership training for Parliamentarians at the Sea school in Apapa in collaboration with the Citizenship and Leadership Training Center(CLTC). This bothers on required leadership qualities, self discipline, teamwork and ability to offer selfless services to their constituencies amongst others.
Mr Dare said that the packages for the youth such as DEEL is a flagship initiative and explained that the acronym stands for D – Digital skill acquisition E – Enterprenurship E – Employability L – Leadership and mentoring. He said with this initiative the Ministry will train as many youth as possible in a space of ten (10) years. To realize this initiative, the Ministry will work with blue chip companies. The Ministry is also collaborating with the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) to upgrade six youth development Centers in the country. This effort is being made by the Ministry to meet with the Nigerian Development Bank who has showed great interest in funding these laudable and impact ful ideas that will get the attention of youths. A meeting with the AFDB comes up in January 2020 for accessing grants for the youth.
Furthermore the Hon Minister intimated the gathering of the Ministry’s intention to introduce an online platform tagged “NOYA” which is Nigeria Online Youth Assembly. This platform will showcase opportunities open and available to Nigerian youth both locally and internationally, also relevant links and information will be provided. It could be education, employment, business, political opportunities etc.
The area of Sports is not left out as the Hon Minister is introducing the Adopt Campaign which has four models viz Adopt an Athlete, Adopt a Pitch, Adopt a Sport and Adopt a Sport center.
All these are geared towards the development of the youth. Dare admonished the Parliamentarians that the Ministry hopes on them to drive the Engine of growth in the Nation where ethnicity, tribalism and vices will be a thing of the past.
In his Opening address the current Speaker Nigeria Youth Parliament Rt Hon Mubarak Mijiyawa acknowledged the Permanent Secretary, Mr Aduda and opined that the Perm.Sec.being youthful like the Hon Minister will guide Youths to the next level. He enumerated the achievements of the Nigerian Youth Parliament since inception such as organization of Youth conference in Lagos for youth to discuss salient issues and organization of symposium on climate change in Abuja where trees were planted.
He said the Nigerian Youth Parliament has not been participating in global events due to paucity of funds.
The speaker stated that the Nigerian Youth Parliament will continue to advocate against child abuse and sexual harassment and advised delegates to interact with their constituencies to know their problems for discussion as the sitting starts and not to be concerned only on the financial benefits they will derive from the event.
There were goodwill messages from the Speaker Kano State children Parliament Rt Hon Amir Mahmud Bello who thanked the Kano State government and Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports for collaborating in hosting the event.
The team leader of Nigeria Policy Programme Alhaji Kabiru Ahmed wished the parliamentarians a successful deliberation.
In the same vein the National speaker children Parliament Rt Hon Maisara Abdulkadir Abass reiterated the evil of child abuse and said that more than one billion children are abused globally. He called on all to fight and protect our children. He reminded the youth that they are the leaders of tomorrow and wondered why the NigerianYouth Parliament has not been participating in global events.
In his goodwill message the pioneer speaker Kano State Youth Parliament Rt Hon Bashir Bala reminded the youth parliamentarians that their participation in the Session is a learning ground to being a successful Parliamentarian and advised the delegates to try solve the problem of the youth and not become bench warmers but active participants in the session. He further admonished the parliamentarians to ensure their decisions/suggestions are forwarded to the Kano state government for implementation.
On his part the Governor of Kano state,Abdullahi Umar Ganduje represented by the Acting/Deputy Governor of the state Dr. Nasiru Yusuf Dawuna in declaring the session open said the potentials of youths should be tapped for the growth of the nation and advised them to take up the challenge/ responsibility for them to be trusted as Leaders hence the Not Too Young to run Bill. He enjoined them to criticize responsibly especially in the social media and reiterated that the state will create opportunities for the youth to be self reliant.
The Acting Governor said the state will in no distant time commission its Youth Skill Acquisition Centers. He reeled out achievements in youth development and empowerment such as training of the youths in shoe making and empowering the youths with grinding machines amongst others. He said, to further encourage the youths, the state has introduced free education and school feeding programme and solicited the support of private organizations in youth development.
He thanked the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development for choosing Kano State for this first Sitting of the 4th Session and expressed the state delight in hosting the event.
A total of One hundred and six (106) delegates from across all the states of the Federation attended the event. Also in attendance is the Kano state commissioner of Youth amongst others.
The Director Network and Social Mobilization Dr Maryam Abdullahi gave the vote of thanks and acknowledged the support of Kano State government in hosting the event which reaffirms that the state is committed to youth development. It was a very colourful ceremony.