The Federal Government has expressed readiness to support hosting of the forthcoming World Assembly of Youths (WAY) General Assembly, scheduled for December, in Nigeria.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Olusade Adesola gave the assurance on Tuesday in Abuja when members of WAY and the Belema Aid Foundation, an NGO, paid him a courtesy visit.
Reports have it that Nigeria and Indonesia are bidding for the hosting rights of the general assembly, which will come on the heels of the 70th anniversary of WAY.
Adesola said that the ministry would partner with relevant stakeholders to ensure that Nigeria wins the bid to host the global youth assembly.
He expressed government’s commitment to supporting endeavours that could guarantee the development of Nigerian youths.
“We are happy to receive you at the ministry, you are in the right place, and it is the right partnership.
” As a ministry that is focussed on youth affairs, we are always delighted to explore ways by which we can better a lot of our youths, and you can be sure that we shall give you the necessary support,” Adesola said.
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The Permanent Secretary said that the Nigerian government was determined to take advantage of the huge youth population for national development.
He expressed displeasure that the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) was present without a recognised leadership as it had been polarised and factionalized.
He, however, gave assurance that the ministry was making efforts to unify the council for effective participation in the global youth assembly.
“Nigeria has a population of about180 million, projected to reach 200 million by 2030. 60 per cent of that; about 100 million, are youths.
” This will be a great advantage, and of immense benefit, if properly harnessed. But it could become a sore point in our national agenda if ignored.
“That is why matters concerning the youths are always central to policies of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
“However, our youth organisation in Nigeria, the NYCN is not in the state that we desire it to be. We do not presently have a formidable youth organisation, and efforts to resolve crises within the body has resulted in factionalisation.
” But when the new minister resumes here, the priority will be to resolve the crises. We should be able to resolve the issue of leadership of the NYCN before the end of September,” he said.
Earlier, the President of WAY, Mrs Ediola Pashollari, said that members were in Nigeria to inspect facilities and the preparedness of Belema Aid Foundation to host the global youth assembly in December.
She said that her delegation had visited the foundation’s headquarters for inspection, held talks with the police on security, and held meetings with other relevant stakeholders.
She said that Nigeria was bidding for the hosting rights with Indonesia, adding that a similar inspection tour of facilities had been carried out in Indonesia.
Pashollari described WAY as a 140 members-countries youth organisation created in 1949 under the aegis in the UN, where Nigeria presently occupied one of the Vice Presidents position.
“Our main objective is to create policies with regards to youth issues and work toward the implementation of those policies.
“We carry out an evaluation of these policies, we establish national youth councils for countries and we help in the establishment of youth legislation and youth Acts,” she said.
Also speaking, Mr Obinna Nwaneri, Programme Advisor for Belema Aid Foundation, said that the foundation was partnering with WAY to host the general assembly in order to enhance youth development in Nigeria and all over the world.
NAN also reports that the WAY general assembly, scheduled to hold in December expects representatives from 140 member countries.
Pashollari was accompanied to the ministry by one of the vice presidents of the organisation, Mohammed Alawane from Libya.