participants at the programme.

By Niyi Gbenga.

A Non-governmental Organization, New Generation Girls and Women Development Initiative (NIGAWD) has called for more active participation and representation of youths in governance.

The group said the youth constitute a larger percentage of the Nigerian population, stressing the need for them to be agents of positive change and crusaders for good governance through active participation.

The Executive Director, Mrs Abimbola Aladejare spoke in Ado-Ekiti on Thursday at the training of Ekiti Youth Agenda Technical Committee members organised in collaboration with National Democratic Institute (NDI), USAID and UKAID.

Aladejare disclosed that young people have been marginalized in the country’s developmental process as a result of the conspiracy of the elite making it impossible for youths to keep on the fringes of leadership.

She added that money politics syndrome has characterised Nigerians political terrain making it difficult for average young person who is still struggling financially to participate in decision-making process.

She, however, called for a support system and enabling environment for inclusive participation of youth in governance, saying young people can bring innovative ideas and vision capable of effecting socio-economic development of the nation.

The Executive Director urged Governor kayode Fayemi to give more priority to youth agenda in policies formulation and implementation.

The Commissioner for Youth and Sport Development, Mr. Michael Awopetu assured the youths that Fayemi-led administration would promote policies and programmes capable of emancipating them from shackles of poverty and unemployment.

Awopetu said the current administration’s four cardinal point was targeted at engendering youth development, adding that development of any ideal society depends on the youth who remain potent catalyst for development.

He disclosed that the government has embarked on youth development programmes with the focus of empowering unemployed youths through discovery of talent and ideas as well as skills acquisition.

The commissioner said Fayemi-led administration is inclined towards moral rectitude and reorientation, stressing the need for youth to shun drug abuse, cultism and other social vices which stifles socioeconomic growth and development.

“Our administration will pay premium attention to the wellbeing of the youths, among others, as a critical segment of our state through implementations of youth-centered policies.

“And we will make sure that young people are at all times given ample opportunities to explore their talents in a deliberate bid to make our youths agents of statecraft and catalysts for socioeconomic development”, Awopetu said.