Benin City: The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said his government will sustain efforts to guarantee better opportunities for youths in the state, equipping them with the right skills and conducive environment to realize their fullest potential.
Obaseki said this in commemoration of this year’s International Youth Day, with the theme, “Intergenerational Solidarity: Creating a World for All Ages.”
The IYD is celebrated on August 12, each year, by the United Nations and its sister organisations to bring youth issues to the attention of the international community and celebrate the potential of youth as partners in today’s global society.
Already, Edo State had on August 8, 2022, kicked off a two-week programme of activities, including seminars, roadshows and training, among others to engage the young people and empower them to effectively contribute their quota to the growth and development of the state.
Obaseki said, “As we join the rest of the world, today, to commemorate the International Youth Day, we want to remind our youths of their immense role in advancing global peace and achieving sustainable growth and development.
“In recognition of these indispensable roles, we have embarked on several reforms and projects to provide Edo youths with the right environment to succeed, equipping them with in-demand skills to thrive in a technology-driven 21st century and ensuring that they are adequately empowered to contribute their quota to the development of their immediate communities.
“Through our state’s skills development agency, EdoJobs, we have sustained these youth-focused projects and programmes and are proud to declare that Edo State is fast- becoming the technology hub of Nigeria. We urge our youths to leverage the opportunity provided by these government’s reforms and programmes to become globally competitive, providing innovative solutions to societal problems.”
Reiterating the need for increased political participation by youths, Obaseki said his government will continue to support young people, ensuring that they are adequately represented in government processes and decision-making.
He added, “As we go into the 2023 elections, we urge our youths to become more politically active and involved because it is in participation that they are more able to contribute to decision making processes, inputting their creativity and innovative potential to proffer solutions to societal problems.”
According to the UN Secretary General, António Guterres, “From COVID-19 to climate change, to conflicts, poverty, inequality and discrimination, we need all hands on deck to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and build the better, more peaceful future we all seek.
“We need to support young people with massive investments in education and skills-building — including through next month’s Transforming Education Summit.
“We also need to support gender equality and expanded opportunities for young people to participate in civic and political life.
“It’s not enough to listen to young people — we need to integrate them into decision-making mechanisms at the local, national and international levels.”