President Muhammadu Buhari last week expressed his administration’s eagerness to support and push Nigerian youths to greater heights.
He branded the youths worthy ambassadors of the country and expressed delight at their exploits locally and internationally.
This and two other stories from the Presidency stood out last week.
Buhari romances Nigerian youths
President Buhari on November 1 described Nigerian youths as the country’s greatest asset.
Buhari, who was represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at a National Youth Conference in Abuja said: “We recognise that our young people are this country’s most strategic asset. Investing in them is clearly investing in the economic strength and development of our nation.
“Because young people constitute the majority of our population, they are, by both default and design, at the very centre of all of our efforts to stimulate growth.”
The President, beyond admitting the different exploits Nigerian youths have recorded, looks to have worked hard to wean himself from earlier negative perception that he only sees the youth as a bunch of lazy people.
Although his speech is commendable, he must strive to make life better for the youths, beginning with creating the right environment for sustainable growth and development.
The #EndSARS protests which rocked the country last year should serve as a clear and present danger which could snowball into a revolution if the administration continues to make light of latent resentments, especially among the youth.
As Buhari’s time in government grinds gradually to a close, he would do well to work towards bequeathing a country the present and future generations will proudly call their own.
Two other talking points
Appeal to foreign investors
President Buhari on November 2 appealed to the international community to invest in Nigeria’s infrastructural development.
Buhari, who made the appeal while speaking at a COP 26 high-level side event on improving global infrastructure, said Nigeria needs $1.5 trillion dollars over the 10 years to achieve an appreciable level of the National Infrastructure Stock.
He said: “Nigeria is ready for your infrastructural development in the country. My administration has established a clear legal and regulatory framework for private financing of infrastructure to establish a standard process, especially on the monitoring and evaluation process. We look forward to working with you in this regard.”
Buhari’s appeal raises questions on what his administration had been able to do with the huge loans already borrowed from multilateral lenders in the past.
As laudable as his aspirations are, the President’s must be weary of the fact that his efforts to bring foreigners to invest in the country’s infrastructure may, however, hit a brick wall over worsening insecurity in the country.
It will, therefore, be interesting to see how the President will tackle this and other issues that portray the country as an unfavorable destination for foreign direct investments.
Osinbajo on yahoo boys
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on November 3 charged Nigerian youths to desist from online fraud and embrace honest ways of life.
Osinbajo, who made the call in his convocation lecture at Kola Daisi University, Ibadan, Oyo State, told the youths: “Don’t be distracted by the yahoo boys that are coming up one day with funny cars. Their days are always numbered.
“They will go to jail one day. The point, of course, is that what is the point of making money when you can’t sleep well at night.”
Osinbajo is on point in the matter of erosion of societal norms and values where material acquisition has been given premium attention by the citizens.
However, beyond the rhetoric, the Vice President must spearhead the move that will ensure that Nigerian youths are productively engaged through programmes and policies that will enable them to fully deploy their creative ability in the development of the country.
It is only through a sustained drive of this nature that the country can cut down its unemployment rate.