Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on Monday restated his administration’s commitment to youth inclusion, adding no effort will be spared to create for them the right environment to realize their potential.
He said quite a large proportion of the young population have proven their worth in the governance and corporate world, thereby requiring every support to fulfill their life dreams.
The Governor was speaking in Ilorin at the Kwara Youths Symposium, a programme that seeks to discuss issues bordering on the interests and prospects of youths in the state.
Organized by the State Ministry of Youth Development, the theme for this year is, ” The Legacy and Ideology of Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq: A Model for Youth Inclusion and Empowerment in Nigeria.”
The event was graced by cabinet members, academics and successful entrepreneurs including the Nigerian-American professor and media scholar Prof Farooq Kperogi.
The programme featured a panel session where discussants took turns to commend the business and youth-friendly policies of the government and suggested other things that the administration needs to factor in for the proposed Kwara Youth Policy.
AbdulRazaq, who was represented at the event by the Speaker Kwara House of Assembly Rt Hon Yakubu Salihu Danladi, said it is important to build the capacity of youth and start engaging them for leadership tasks right from today.
He appreciated Prof Kperogi for honoring the invitation all the way from Georgia, USA, saying the state is proud of him as a son of the soil.
Other dignitaries in attendance were the Chief of Staff to the Governor Prince AbdulKadir Mahe; supervising Commissioner for Youth Development Hon. Usman Yunusa- Lade; Special Adviser on Youth Engagement Umar Muhammad Attairu; Chief Press Secretary to the Governor Rafiu Ajakaye; Senior Special Assistant on Community Development Dr. Lawal Olohungbebe; and social analyst and a lecturer at the Al-hikmah University Dr. Sanusi Lafiagi, and dozens of youth from different backgrounds.
Lade, in his welcome address, said the programme further represents the zeal of the present administration to empower Kwara youths and create an environment for them to succeed in life.
“We are here to reaffirm our administration’s commitment to continue to build the Youths capacity and give them the necessary push for them to flourish in life,” he said.
He thanked Governor AbdulRazaq for giving youth the necessary support and how his government is getting them involved in decision making.
Prof Kperogi, for his part, expressed reservation that despite Nigeria being a country that is largely populated by youth, the old generation has still not found the youth fit to occupy the leadership positions.
Kperogi, who spoke about “Youth Inclusion in Governance: Bridging the gap”, commended Governor AbdulRazaq for his leadership style and how he has been championing the crusade of youth inclusion in governance.
“We are one of the youngest countries in the world. The vast majority of people who constitute Nigeria’s population are young, yet the people who rule this young population are mostly old people,” he said.
“Every country’s future relies on its youths. If we don’t trust the youth enough to empower them with the skills to take over the leadership you are jeopardizing the future of our nation. And that is why I am delighted to discover that we have very many young people working in this government”.
Lafiagi, in his submission, said it takes a serious government to identify the youth as a fundamental factor to accelerate development in the contemporary world, praising AbdulRazaq for engaging an “unprecedented number of youths’ in his government.
Oluwafemi Samuel Adeoye
Ministry of Youth Development
December 18, 2023.