The Honourable Minister for Youth & Sports Development, Barrister Solomon Selcap Dalung has admonished Federal and State Governments to adopt a paradigm shift to accord Youth development as national security matter in their quest for socio-economic development.
Barrister Solomon Dalung made this known at the occasion of the 6th meeting of the National Council on Youth Development and the Launching of the Revised National Youth Policy (2019) in Akure, Ondo State. The theme of the Council meeting is “harnessing youth resources: the potentiality for self-reliance in the 21st century”.
In his key note address, the Minister emphatically stated that the development of human capital is of immense and immeasurable benefits to a nation aspiring to attain sustainable development goals, adding, it is time for Government at federal and state levels to invest in the youth. He stated that the cost implication of increasing investment in youth is minimal compared to enormous resources being expended to secure national peace and security.
The Minister further explained that the present spate of social vices of kidnapping for ransom, unemployment, cattle rustling, armed banditry etc underscored the urgent need for government to place youth development as a national security matter. Beside the spectacular redefinition of what constitute the youth age bracket to between 15 and 29 years in the revised National Youth Policy(2019); the Minister disclosed that the key thrust of the policy is the development of youth into a productive workforce through appropriate quality education, acquisition of skills, adequate opportunities for productive employment and successful entrepreneurship, thereby enabling the youth to live an economically empowered lives.
In his remarks, the Executive Governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, reaffirmed that the theme of the 6th National Council on Youth Development is very apt to the programmes and activities specially designed by the state government for youth empowerment through vocational skill training in the 23 skill acquisition centres across the states, amongst several others. The Executive Governor, ably represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Engr. Abegunde, also stated that the thematic message is very germane to the renewed call for the intervention of public and private sectors in the full development of our youth.
Also speaking at the occasion, the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Olusade Adesola, in an overview of the revised National Youth Policy 2019-2023; revealed that the review is deemed necessary in view of the significant increase in the proportion of the youth demography in our national population, which necessitated a review of strategies previously emplaced to address and target their needs.
For: Director, Press