By Okon Okon
Ms Gloria Akobundu, National Coordinator, African Union Development Agency-New Partnership for African Development (AUDA-NEPAD), has advised Nigerian youths to channel their energy on productive ventures for self and the nation’s development.
Akobundu gave the advice in a statement issued on Wednesday by Mr Abolade Ogundimu, Media Assistant to AUDA/NEPAD as Nigerian youths joined the rest of the world to commemorate the 2020 edition of International Youth Day (IYD).
IYD is an annual event observed by the United Nations every Aug. 12, to celebrate youths.
The theme this year is “Youth Engagement for Global Action”. Marking the event in Nigeria, Akobundu said if Nigerian youths could venture into what could inspire for self development, would go a long way for the good of the society, irrespective of their socio-economic status.
She added that the nation would also enjoy a brighter future from their own contributions to the country.
According to her, youths constitute significant size of the country’s population and their responsible engagements in productive venture could provide home grown solutions to some of the challenges confronting the nation and the world.
“Youths are integral part of every nation, they should be reminded on the importance of their actions and inactions to development of the society.
“I urge every Nigerian youth, irrespective of their gender or social status, to ensure they engage only in activities that add positive values to the society so that their desired future will be better assured.
“They should be innovative in their daily activities for greater development and shun bad vices capable of bringing hardship to themselves and people around them so that they too, can enjoy peaceful lives as youths and in their old age, ” she said.
With such act of discipline, Akobundu assured the youths that the nation as a while and the world would continue to appreciate them.“Interestingly, youths population is high in Nigeria, but they should resolve to use their numerical strength in advancing development of the nation, not taking steps capable of placing the nation in bad light both at global or at inter-continental development index,” she said.
Akobundu urged the youths to eschew violence and embrace development and peace in the interest of the nation, while urging those engaged in rape cases and other vices to turn a new leaf.
On efforts of the Agency to mitigate challenges confronting the youths, Akobundu said some measures had been taken to improve a lot of youth in the country.
She listed some of the steps to include collaborating with partners within and outside the country to provide technology-driven skill acquisition programmes for women and youths, domesticating Continental development programmes, among others.“In recognition of the importance of youths to development, we have collaborated with development partners within and outside the country to provide technology-driven skill acquisition programmes for women and youths.
“As an Agency, we have been domesticating continental development programmes for the development of youths and the entire segments of the nation,” she said.
She further stated that the Agency, in collaboration with various stakeholders including African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), National Governing Council, Technical Research Institutes, State Governments, State Coordinators and Focal Points at local government levels.The action, Akobundu explained, ” It is in order to come up with useful report for National Development Plan”. (NAN)