Nigerian Youths: There’s a Rite of Passage to Success

Nigerian Youths: There’s a Rite of Passage to Success

Monday, June 21, 2021 3:36 pm

Nigerian youths and Mr. Sunday Dare

By Sunday Dare

This gathering today will be remembered as one of the most important youth gatherings in our history. Especially for our party, the APC whose core is the progressive principle. The youth of the APC stock have chosen a perfect time to interrogate the future of the youth within the progressive ideology and by so doing draw the party and its energetic youth into the arena of constructive discourse.

I thank President Muhammadu Buhari for the great and committed leadership he continues to provide for this country. His commitment to the progress of the youth of our nation has never being in doubt. The President has brought about a new urgently to prioritize the youth in the scheme of things.
From all fronts- political, social and economical- we have a President who continues to engage the youth. NYIF. NPower. Not Too Young to Run Bill. Public Works program. The youth agenda of our great party the APC is alive!

The Nigeria Youth Investment Fund (NYIF) is one such initiative that this government approved for the Nigerian youth in other to support their innovative ideas, enterprise and business ideas.

At the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, we recognized the urgency of quickly weighing in and providing the finances that the youth need to grow their enterprise, ideas, and businesses hence our rapid deployment of part of the Fund while the system was being fine-tuned. Once properly set up, NYIF would disburse loans to the youth at a faster pace. To realize this, the Ministry is in consultations with other partners to expand the loans disbursement platform to fast-track access to the Fund.

Even as this the fine tuning is taking place, we have been able to record modest achievements with pilot disbursements to 5,200 youth which is the equivalent of one billion six hundred and twenty-nine million two hundred and twenty thousand naira (N1,629,220,000.00). Disbursements have been lined up for another batch of 25,000 youth once they their loan applications are approved.

But this should not just be a moment to recount the past 6 years, rather Its a moment in which we must speak to the issues that confront the youth and proceed to fashion out new solutions, develop new pathways and create new opportunities that can lead to the desired future – all within the arm bit of the progressive agenda.

Let me depart from the known path to the path that is unknown. Let me be a bit conversational and provocative at the same time. Yes the Future is a decision. However, the present is also a decision; not just the future. You begin to create and work for the future you envision- from the present. The future is the function of the decision you make now. When you create a better present , you enjoy the fruitfulness of the future. The future starts from where we STAND today.

When they say the youth are the leaders of tomorrow, I’ve said it repeatedly since I became minister, that yes, the youth are the leaders of tomorrow, but now, in this political construct, the youths are now leaders starting today. And unless you start being leaders now, in your communities, professional groups and places of work, you will not just in one day wake up as a leader, you must learn the ropes.

What then is the progressive agenda ?

The progressive agenda for the youths is not a code somewhere. So let’s ask ourselves, what is exactly is the youth agenda?
The Progressive concept emphasizes progress, success, society friendly, problem solving, solution oriented, people oriented and one with a temperament of vigilance. We need to fashion a Youth Agenda that is progressive in orientation. Not one that is simply combative and combustible. But one that is constructive and realistic.

What then should the Progressive Agenda of the Youth be ? The Youth seek to move forward, to progress. You can tag it professional progress, political progress. It could also be progress in creativity, in entertainment, in sports or even business. The agenda of youth is to launch forward, excel, break new grounds and achieve milestones.

Hence, the Youth Agenda is the Progressive Agenda. It is the tunnel through which we must examine the agenda of the Progressives. The youth agenda is not far fetched : every youth wants to excel and be placed on a pathway to succeed.

You want whatever political system you’re in to provide you with opportunities and platforms to advance. But then there are prerequisites and conditions that must be met.
Success is not a happenstance, no government hands you success and position as a youth, simply because you elected that government. You must be positioned for success.

What are the prerequisites-
the things you must do as a youth?

What must government do to ensure that you realize your potentials?

The government must provide the basic things: security, electricity , good roads, good educational system, easy access to credit etc. then you will have no excuse not to excel. We are lucky to have a government that is dedicated to infrastructural renewal and investment in Human Capital.

It is only under this administration that we have seen a return to that kind of massive reconstruction in a deliberate way. We have seen over 15 legacy projects by this administration, which is also completing abandoned projects and starting new ones. The administration is focused on Human Capital Development, about which Bill Gates said very clearly, ” unless a nation builds on its human capital Development, it can never develop”.

At the core of that Human Capital Development are the youth. Until Nigeria develops the human capital of our youths, then the future will continue to be just a DISCUSSION and not a DECISION

Therefore, as the youth what is required of you? There are rites of passage you must go through. If you cannot go through a university, education, then you must attain at least a level of education. Technical education is a sure bet for success. Acquire skills that are relevant.

There are 150 digital skills, but from our study, about 25 of them can help you get jobs within our society. You can be in the comfort of your office in Abuja and outsource your skills but you must get that additional skill. You can get it from many government training programs on and offline.

Finally , Let’s all agree that there’s the responsibility matrix :
1. What is the responsibility of government?
2. What is the responsibility of the organised private sector who benefit from the infrastructure built with government money?
3. What is the responsibility of the youth?

Government must provide support systems, ensure there is power which is critical to the survival of small scale businesses, provide security, provide educational systems that have value and this is by ensuring that the universities and colleges remain open, run an academic year that is predictable and sustainable.

The Private Sector equally has a huge responsibility. This is why we have the CSR concept which must be redefined to include the youth. There must be a pathway for youth that provides a mandatory experience while waiting on the employment line.

The Youth must realize that there is the Rite of Passage to Success:
Are you ready for the rite of passage?
Success doesn’t happen overnight, are you ready to do diligent work? This conversation must be ongoing and we must accept our own responsibilities. Let us stop the blame game with the government and come up with our youth agenda, present it to the government and see what happens.
Government is awake to it’s responsibilities and will do things differently. The youth must also be awake to their responsibilities.

Sports for us, under this progressive administration, is no longer recreational but now a business. This government is about wealth creation and we are leveraging sports to develop the minds, talent and the financial status of our youth.
The Future is indeed a decision. But that decision must be made Now.

*Remarks by the Honorable Minister of Youth and Sports Development at the APC Youth Progressive Conference tagged-The Future is a Decision. Abuja. Monday June 21st


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