President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday assured that his government is committed to youth development and therefore would continue to prioritize and promote deliberate policies in that regard.
The president made the commitment at the 2014 International Youth Day Celebrations, with the theme: “Youth and Mental Health: Nigerian Youth at Centenary,” which held at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.
Jonathan, who was represented by his Vice, Arc Mohammed Namadi Sambo, said “as a government, we will continue to accelerate the implementation of the Youth Decade Plan of Action and advance the Youth Agenda through adoption of policies and mechanisms that will facilitate the creation of safe, decent and competitive employment opportunities.”
Jonathan, who eulogised the dexterity of the Nigerian youth, maintained that the government was indebted to its youth and would not afford but to honour them.
He narrated various intervention programmes and policies instituted by government to bring out the best in the Nigerian youth including the YouWin, SURE-P, Youth in Agriculture, Student Computer Ownership Scheme, Gender and ICT Programmes as well as Girls and Women in Nigeria Initiative, among several others.
Jonathan tasked the Nigerian youth to continue to keep faith in their country, saying “All hands must be on deck, and we all must collaborate together to make our country greater. There is no greater pursuit worth our time in the present than advancing the collective interest of our beloved country Nigeria.”
The Minister of Youth Development, Boni Haruna, said the 2014 celebration was aimed at creating awareness and drawing attention to the importance of mental health among youth to the development of any society.
He said the day was to raise the global awareness on the youth’s challenges such as unemployment, mental health challenges and lack of involvement in leadership.