NOA, Nations Empowered and SMSGafrica discuss Strategies for Engaging Nigerian Youths for National Development

The #EndSARS protest in Nigeria is one of the most recent decentralized social movements with a youthful population that has come out to speak truth to power by asking for an end to police brutality and bad governance. After the turbulent night of the 20th day of October 2020, the protest stopped on the street but the conversation continues to linger.

Nations Empowered in partnership with Tomruk iHub Multiverse a social innovation hub hosted a Zoom meeting to discuss the “Strategies for Engaging Nigerian Youths for National Development” on the 28th November 2020.

The meeting featured Dr Garba Abari, Director General of the National Orientation Agency, Banjo Olaniyan a sustainable development expert and founder of Nations Empowered, Dr David Olowokwere, a Professor of Engineering at Texas Southern University and Job David Ayuba, the founder of Tomruk iHub Multiverse as discussants.

According to Dr Garba Abari, “Nigeria is one of the countries with the youngest population in the world, and government must put the interest of the youth as a priority and proper perspectives”.

Dr Abari said that, the social media is the best platform to engage young Nigerian and the National Orientation Agency is ensuring to leverage all of these platforms strategically to communicate the core values of Nigeria; hardworking, integrity, social justice, religious tolerance and discipline. He mentioned a program, #4ABetterNigeria, that the National Orientation Agency has been using to engage young people by recording a 1 minute patriotic videos on social media.

He also described #EndSARS as a metaphor, that came as a trigger to voice out the bottled up anger of the young people and he further encouraged government at all levels to prioritize economic and social processes that will impact the young people.

In his separate remarks, Job David Ayuba said that since the future of every nation lies on the youthful population, young people must be actively involved in governance and policy making.

Mr Ayuba emphasized on the need to invest in human capital development of the younger generation as well as an active collaboration between old and young Nigerians. He further stated that the focus of all Nigerians should be on breaking the jinx not the country.

On the need for education, Dr David Olowokwere said that people without education are like weapons without bullets and the youth of Nigeria must be provided with quality education. The University Don stated that every hurdle on the pathway to ensuring the reformation of the mind of the youthful population of Nigeria must be removed.

Banjo Olaniyan said banditry is a lucrative profession in Nigeria at the moment and this is so largely because of the lack of employment.

Sharing his thoughts, Ayo Adediji a participant at the meeting, lamented that most young people do not believe in Nigeria. He encouraged the National Orientation Agency to showcase the achievements of young Nigerians across the world to ignite hope and build active popular participation.

Mr Adedeji said collaboration amongst the government, private sectors, educational institutions and other major stakeholders to drive mentorship should be emphasized.

This high level engagement is a monthly virtual session organized by Nations Empowered and Tomruk iHub Multiverse. You can watch the last session by following this link

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