By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has commended Nigerian youths for being creative and trying to space for themselves despite inadequate resources available to them.
Prof Osinbajo, while receiving the United Nations Special Envoy on Youth, Mr Ahmad Alhendawi, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said the “youth enthusiasm in this country, their can-do spirit, their sheer force can energize the whole nation. I wouldn’t be surprised if more young people end up in top and key elected positions in this country,” he said.
He further said the President Muhammadu Buhari administration is aware that in spite of the advances in education and technology, inequality of access and opportunities still exists which the presidency wants to redress.
He however observed that inequality still exists on a global scale as there are still many who don’t have access to education and don’t even know about the advances in technology.
“Huge gaps and disparities still exist. So our concern is about creating more equality, more opportunity in education, to level the playing field so that more young people can get a clear chance in life,” he stated.
Professor Osinbajo announced that on September 2, the Aso Villa Demo Day would hold where 30 young Nigerians will pitch their innovative ideas at the Presidential Villa to a presidential audience including venture capitalists, investors and decision makers in the ICT industry among other business groups and interests.
He disclosed that the 30 most innovative and talented young people where picked out of the several thousands of young Nigerians, who participated in a competitive selection process.
“We are looking at a new generation of people who have the vision, who have a different way of thinking and whose energy and creativity will benefit the nation,” the Vice President stated.
Expressing concern about the humanitarian situation in the North-East, he said “the military is gradually winding down its activities and all that we have now is a humanitarian condition that has challenged particularly everything we have.”
The Vice President called for more concerted efforts from the international community in addressing the humanitarian situation, together with the Nigerian government, stressing that “insurgency is a major problem especially violent extremism and the consequences of it are so grave.”
Earlier, the UN Special Envoy, Mr Ahmed Alhendawi expressed his appreciation for the warm welcome accorded him and his delegation, being his first visit to the country.
He said he was in the country to discuss with the UN Country Representatives on youth programmes and advocated a coordinated national youth policy, pledging the support of the UN system in that regard.
The envoy was joined for the visit by UN Country representatives from UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF and ILO among others.
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