Kwara state Governor-elect AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on Saturday said his administration will pay optimum attention to wellbeing of youths in the state.
He conceded that the youth question is one of the greatest challenges that his administration will face.
Mallam AbdulRazaq said this in Ilorin, the state capital, during a youth summit.
His political associate, Kale Belgore, read his speech at the summit.
Said the governor-elect: “As we assume office in the coming months, we have no doubt that one of the greatest challenges ahead of us in Kwara is how to address the youth question in order to engender growth and development as well as restore the dignity of not just the human person but the sanity of our communities.
“Building infrastructure across sectors will be key to attracting investments and employment generation. This explains our fixation on building infrastructure, given the huge deficit of same across the state — especially in parts of Kwara where investment in agro-processing factories would help jump start the local economy and create jobs.
“Proper attention will especially be paid to critical infrastructure for primary and post-primary education, moral teachings and counselling as a way to (re)build a new generation of young people who
can hold their own anywhere in the world.
“We will run an administration with inclination towards moral rectitude and reorientation while also discouraging drug abuse, thuggery and a culture of unhealthy dependency which stifles socioeconomic growth.”
Furthermore, the frontline businessman-turned-politician said: “Incidentally, Nigeria is a country blessed with huge population of youth. The United Nations estimated that Nigeria currently has a population of 199 million as at March 26, 2019.
“This is neither a good news nor a bad one. A country’s youth population is often a double-edged sword. Higher youth population is an asset and a great element of power where the bulk of those young
people are highly skilled, are engaged in very productive endeavors, and are duly mobilised for national development. But it could also be a burden — or call it a timed bomb — where the young population is
not so skilled not properly engaged in anything meaningful. The danger
in the latter condition is that any country or society with predominantly ignorant or idle young population is a natural habitat
for restiveness, drug abuse, and all sorts of crimes.
“The National Bureau of Statistics put youth unemployment in Nigeria at 36.50 percent as at the third quarters of 2018, down from 38% in the previous quarter of the same year. This figure doesn’t cover the underemployment tally in the country.
“We will make sure that young people are at all time given ample opportunities to prove their mettle in a deliberate bid to make our youth agents of statecraft and catalysts for socioeconomic development
in Kwara and Nigeria as a whole.”
Earlier, chairman of the summit’s local organizing committee (LOC),
Kayode Oyin-Subir, said the objective of the summit is to set agenda for the incoming government in the state.
He added that “this is the largest community of youth in the state devoid of any religious, ethnic or political considerations.”
He said that “we are here to proffer solutions to the rot we have
experienced in the recent past in Kwara state. We are here to deliberate on how things can be done rightly. We should at them holistically and come up with a framework for the incoming