By Dirisu Yakubu & Fortune Eromosele
Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, ex- Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki and national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, Thursday, identified investment in the education of youths as the panacea to the myraid of challenges facing the nation.
The trio spoke in Abuja at the launching of an educational foundation, championed by former acting national chairman of PDP, Abubakar Kawu Baraje.
Lauding Baraje for the initiative, Atiku said the foundation birthed at the right time given the need to “salvage our frail nation from the resultant negative impact of poor public investment in Human Capital Development,” as evidenced in “our abysmal ranking in the global Human Capital Development index.”
The Wazirin Adamawa linked the nation’s poor investment in education to the country’s “large army of out of school children, legion of the unemployed, rampaging insecurity, rising poverty rate and persistent underdevelopment”
He continued: “This calls for all hands to be on deck to break the vicious circle of illiteracy, unemployment, poverty and insecurity that has imprisoned our youth and nation as a whole”
“This can be achieved if we continue to advocate for increased public and private investment in youth development and empowerment. It is a step that should be taken with all sense of urgency. ” he advised.
He lamented that “as at the second quarter of 2020, according to the National Bureau of Statistics, 13.9 million Nigerian youths are unemployed. It further shows that the highest unemployment rate was recorded for youths between 15 — 24 years ( 40.8 per cent) and followed by ages 25 — 34 years (30.7 per cent).
On his part, Saraki said security challenges in the land is due largely to the neglect of youths over the years.
He charged government at all levels as well as traditional rulers to invest more in moral and spiritual education of the youths.
Similarly, Secondus chided the nation’s leaders for doing too little in the area of investment in education.
“The country is in distress and we need to be putting down something that can reverse the trends
“This is a foundation that will groom new leadership for Nigeria and the world. Our leaders lack mentorship and that is the problem. And that is why they get into office and the next thing they do is stealing of public funds.” Secondus added.
The Abubakar Kawu Baraje Foundation, according to its founder is aimed at providing quality education at no cost to children of the less privileged in the society.