The federal government has reaffirmed its commitment to professionalise the Federal Ministry of Youth Development to provide a strong base for youth workers just like other professional ministries such as the Federal Ministries of Health and that of Education.
Honourable Minister of Youth Development, Dr. Jamila Bio Ibrahim made this reaffirmation while delivering her speech in an occasion organised by the Nigeria Youth Workers Association, ( NYWA), to mark the International Youth work Week with the theme ” Youth Work in every place and space” which took place at Afolabi hall Federal Secretariat Abuja.
The Minister noted that the event was in agreement with the essence of the Ministry’s pillars, which are to educate, engage, and empower the youth of the nation.
The Minister said, “The theme is a powerful call to action. It challenges us to recognise the potentials within our Youth, irrespective of the setting they find themselves in – be it the serene landscapes of parks, the nurturing environment of Youth centres, compassionate halls of hospitals, or the vibrant classrooms of schools.
“It is in these varied spaces that the spirit of youth work thrives, and it is these spaces that our future leaders and change- makers are shaped,” she added.
Dr. Ibrahim emphasized that education is the cornerstone upon which nations are built, adding that the Youth Ministry recognises it as the key that unlocks doors of opportunity.
She informed the association that the Ministry is launching transformative programs such as the Youth Training and Certification programs to equip the youth with the necessary skills for an evolving economy.
She encouraged Nigerians to design platforms where youths can express their ideas, collaborate on projects, and find mentorship.
The Minister reiterated the Ministry’s commitment to providing the tools and resources necessary for youth to thrive. She urged them to remember that Nigeria’s future lies in their hands, adding that while some may decide to leave the country, those who remain are entrusted with the noble responsibility of building the nation.
In his address, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Alhaji Ismaila Abubakar, who was represented by the Director Enterprise Development and Promotion Department, Mr. Momoh Olugbenga underscored the importance of youth development to national prosperity and called on all youth workers in the country to come together to promote the interest of the youth.
Alhaji Ismaila noted that no nation can afford to neglect its youth. “Any country that neglects her youth does so at her own peril, that’s why the federal government appointed two energetic youth as ministers to steer the affairs of the Ministry.” He said.
In his welcome address the President of the Niigeria Youth Workers Association (NYWA), Mr Ben Duntoye said the Youth Work Week is an annual celebration of Youth Work across the world which highlights the positive impact it has on young people.
He said this year’s youth work week is being celebrated by his association to illuminate the contributions of Youth Workers wherever they are.
Mr. Duntoye said Nigeria Youth Workers Association is the umbrella body for all youth workers and practitioners in Nigeria.
He added that the Association, which was established in 2019, had held four major national events, which include national stakeholders forum in December 2019, international youth work week and conference in Port-harcourt, Rivers State in November. 2020, National Convention and Elections held in Nov. 2021 in the Ministry and the international youth work week 2022.
Dunyoye disclosed that NYWA has inaugurated 18 State chapters to date with a temporary national secretariat in Abuja.
He also disclosed that NYWA is recognised by the Commonwealth Youth program and the Commonwealth Alliance of Youth Workers Association (CAYWA), adding that the Association has actively participated in various international meetings and conferences.
The NYWA President, who pledged the unalloyed support of his Association to the Honourable Minister, praised her commitment to the professionalisation of youth work in Nigerian.
Maryam Umar Yusuf
Head of Press