Monday, October 03, 2011
The minister of youth development, Alhaji Bolaji Abdulahi, recently met with about 50 youth leaders in Lagos. It was an interactive session, which allowed him share the Federal Government's plan to engage Nigerian youth in decision making process.
The youth leaders who were present had the unique opportunity to share innovative ideas on how the ministry can better engage young Nigerians and close the yawning gap between the ministry and youth at the bottom of the pyramid.
It was inspiring and a bit reassuring to hear the youth minister, Alhaji Abdulahi and his team, express genuine interest and commitment to make a difference in this new administration. He said he is ready to learn and listen. In his words “…the ministry is your ministry. I cannot understand issues of young people other than young people.”
The founder of LEAP Africa, Mrs Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli, in her opening remark pointed out that the way forward for Nigerians to tackle the many issues affecting the country is to take personal responsibility.
Among the many things she said was the need for youth and youth organizations to collaborate more. If we continue to work as solos, we can’t move forward. She also encouraged youth leaders to be authentic leaders. This means being consistent in walking the talk, reflecting the values we advocate. “You have to have integrity for others to be inspired,” said Mrs. Nwuneli.
Fela Durotoye, in his closing remark summed it up as “we must drive the future of Nigeria.”
So, the take away?
· The Ministry of Youth Development, under the leadership of Alhaji Abdulahi, is ready to engage the Nigerian youth. The passion we use for complaining should be channeled towards innovating solutions for the many problems the Nigerian youth is saddled with- Unemployment, Health challenges, Violence, Poor Education system etc.
· We must be ready to hold the leaders accountable, all through the process
· Collaboration, collaboration, collaboration! To move things forward, youth, NGOs and other stakeholders working to tackle issues affecting the youth should build synergy and work together instead of competing against one another.
· Join others to drive the change you want to see in Nigeria. Don’t give up and don't stop developing yourself/skills.
Twitter Meet-up with Youth Minister
In September, the Youth Minister held a Twitter Town-Hall meeting with Nigerian youth, giving young people an opportunity to ask questions, raise issues and share ideas.
As a commitment to carry on the culture, this month's edition will take place on October 4th by 2pm. The focus of the discussion is NYSC reform. It is hoped that it will be a solution-focused discussion. The hashtag to follow the discussion is #NGMYD. To participate during the meeting, follow @BolajiAbdullahi and tweet him your questions or ideas.
Posted by Jennifer Ehidiamen at 7:26 AM