By Marie-Therese Nanlong
Youths in Plateau State have been urged to embrace green skills to enable them to compete favourably with their counterparts and contribute meaningfully to the economy of not just the State but Nigeria and the world.
The youths who joined their counterparts to celebrate International Youth Day at the weekend at the Azi Nyako Youth Centre in Jos were also tasked to eschew habits like drug addiction and other vices which could jeopardize their future.
In a paper presentation to celebrate the Day, titled: Green skills for youths: Towards a sustainable world”, Luka Panpe, the paper presenter noted that green skills have become a significant component of an evolving society hence the youths must be trained to acquire green skills for a sustainable world.
According to him, “The youths are the assets that could propel a progressive world beyond poverty; hunger; war and conflict; hatred; beyond human pains and frustrations. The creation story of the world and indeed the making of “man” underscores the relevance of co-existence between man and nature vis-a-vis man and the duty of care and protection of the universe.
“Today, the challenges of flood, hunger, farmers-herders crises, desertification, drought, excessive heat, waves, erosion, and other tortuous occurrences in Africa, and other parts of the globe are not unconnected with man’s neglect of the environment. Climate change has become a topical issue given the harm that man has caused the Earth. In Nigeria today, the river Niger and Benue have resulted in danger for communities living and farming along the banks…
“And this year’s concern is how to imbibe green skills for the youths to advance the course of a sustainable world. This paper focuses on this theme and its implications for Plateau State. The symbolic “green cap movement” perhaps coincides with the desire of the State government to birth a revolution in agriculture, green environment, clean water and energy, etc. But the big question is whether the youths who are drivers in this building process have the right set of green skills to make the system work.
“Green skills are all the required internal and external knowledge and values that young people can imbibe to contribute to a functional resource-efficient Plateau State. The key driving components of green skills are knowledge to support a resourceful society, there must be the ability to invent and reinvent ideas on how to contribute towards the utilization of natural/human resources to develop… The world of work is today shifting towards Technology, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and the like. What this means is that a greater percentage of young people must be innovative to survive the challenges in the future…”
He added, “One of the ways to enhance green skills is that government should deliberately pursue a defined green economic policy. A clear road map for the green revolution should be drafted with a specific timeline for achievement. If there is an existing policy, rapid enlightenment for implementation must be intensified. There should be increased investment in agriculture and the environment through increased budget spending, procurement of adequate equipment for farm and refuse evacuation and conversion of wealth.
“Increasing awareness and entrenchment of the culture of sanitation, tree planting, backyard gardens and their benefits should be emphasized… Green skills has thus become a significant component of an evolving society. The dangers of climate change cannot be undermined giving the current dangers that it poses to the security of lives and properties, food security, job opportunities, threats to migration, tourism and the extinction of wildlife. Youths must be trained to acquire green skills for a sustainable world.”
However, the State Governor, Caleb Mutfwang represented at the event by the State Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Bashir Datti commended the contribution of youths to nation building, their resilience in the face of the economic realities and assured them of inclusion in his administration to enable them to add value using their wealth of experiences as he urged them to shun social vices capable of truncating their future.
Earlier, the Plateau Youth Council, through Emmanuel Jukun its Vice Chairman congratulated the youths for marking the Day and urged them to “explore the theme of the Day which is about environmental wellbeing, attaining green skills that don’t harm the environment and bridging the gender imbalance,” as he encouraged them to “continue to be creative and hardworking.”
Meanwhile, the youths led by the Commissioner and principal officers of the Ministry planted some trees within the premises of the Youth Centre.