Young Nigerians are making their mark in fields such as technology, environmental sanitation, agriculture, public health, and education, among others, and the Federal Government will continue to support them in reaching their full potential, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.
Prof. Osinbajo made the remarks at the 2021 National Gold Award Presentation Ceremony of the Nigerian version of the Duke of Edinburgh International Award for Young People, which took place at the old State House Banquet Hall in Abuja on Thursday.
The International Award for Young People, Nigeria, is a non-formal educational framework that encourages young people to dream big, celebrate their accomplishments, and make a difference in their communities. It is an affiliate of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award.
The Vice President cited “young Nigerians in our armed forces leaving behind family and friends to serve our country in various internal security operations across the country” as an example of how young people contribute to the country’s well-being.
“We’ve seen how young Nigerians rallied in the aftermath of the cholera pandemic and devised a variety of technological solutions to assist the government.”
“Innovation, technology, sports, the arts, and entertainment have all seen Nigerian youths break new ground and earn international acclaim.
“Clearly, our youth are our most valuable assets, and the federal government believes they should be encouraged and supported in every way possible.”
Prof. Osinbajo said, “To this end, we are raising $500 million to support the technology and creativity ecosystem,” when asked about interventions aimed at assisting Nigerian youths in various sectors.
“The project is led by the African Development Bank, which has committed $170 million, and will be backed by the Federal Government of Nigeria, the Islamic Development Bank, and the French Development Agency,” he says.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo attends the International Award for Young People (Nigeria) Ceremony at the Statehouse Banquet Hall and gives the keynote address. The date is January 13th, 2021. Tolani Alli, Tolani Alli, Tolani Alli, Tolani
“Last year, Mr. President launched the Nigeria Jubilee Fellows Program, which was supported by the UNDP, the European Union, and the private sector,” the VP added. It will run for five years and will provide 20,000 young Nigerians with well-paid work experience opportunities in select private and public sector organizations each year.
“The goal is for these interns to gain relevant career and life skills that will allow them to seamlessly transition into the professional, business, or public sector while also earning a good wage during the internship.”
The Vice President praised the efforts of “Musab Muazu, who engaged in educating out-of-school ‘almajiri’ children, inspiring them to seek education and helping them to read and write,” in recognizing the resourcefulness of recipients of the International Award for Young People.
“Another recipient, Odikpo Emmanuel, was involved in promoting suicide prevention and mental health awareness amongst young people in his community through organizing workshops, symposiums, and various advocacy programs after losing one of his friends to suicide,” he continued.
“A recipient, Faithwins Iwuh, for her Gold residential project, volunteered at the Renaissance hospital in Enugu State after noticing a staffing shortage there.” She was required to volunteer as a health worker and support staff member at the hospital for a month.”
The Vice President then praised the board of the International Award for Young People, Nigeria, for their efforts in ensuring sustainability and achieving the right scale for instilling the award’s values in many Nigerians from a young age by working with stakeholders in the public and private sectors.
Mr Olawale Ekun, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the International Award for Young People in Nigeria, praised Prof. Osinbajo’s personal commitment and unwavering support for the advancement of young Nigerians earlier in his remarks, saying that it will inspire more young people in the future.
“The late Duke of Edinburgh used to personally hand out gold awards in Britain, and here we are getting the same recognition at the highest level,” he said.
“I believe we must continue to be grateful because, now that this precedent has been set, part of the inspiration, motivation, and encouragement that the next set of gold awardees will have is that they, too, can have a day like this.”
Some of the Award recipients spoke about their experiences, while some trustees of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award delivered virtual goodwill messages.
The 42 recipients of the 2021 International Award for Young People in Nigeria receiving their award certificates was the highlight of the event.