The Federal Government will increase its investment in youths to ensure sustainable national development, the Minister of Youths and Sports, Solomon Dalung, said on Thursday in Abuja.
Dalung said this at the 2017 African Youths Day celebration, which has the theme “Africa’s Youths for the Demographic Dividends: Be the Future Today’’.
He said government was committed to entrusting young people with high-level governance responsibilities.
The Youths and Sports Minister said the country’s successful and sustainable development lies in an effective involvement of the youths in every sphere of national development.
“Consequent upon this, we will not relent in our efforts to get the three tiers of government, development partners and other stakeholders in youth development to increase investment in youths.
“We will involve them and ensure their participation in the process of conception, implementation and monitoring of activities, projects and programmes targeted at their development in line with global best practices,’’ he said.
Dalung also reiterated Federal Government’s commitment to implementing the African Youth Charter, pointing out that Nigeria was the first to incorporate the African Youth Charter into its National Youth Policy.
“The 2017 theme underscores the fact that investment in youths will determine the development trajectory of the African continent in the next 50 years and position it towards realising the ‘Africa We Want’.
The minister noted that the responsibility of youth development has shifted from government-based activities to a multi-stakeholder engagement.
Earlier, the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Adesola Olusade, had said 2017’s theme was an attempt to mirror Africa’s position, among the comity of continents.
“This is with the active involvement of youths as the world prepares to actualise Sustainable Development Goals come 2063.’’
He said the special focus on demographic dividends in this year’s celebration was anchored on the fact that “the development and empowerment of young people are catalyst to accelerating growth and development’’.
The African Youth Day is celebrated on Nov. 1 of every year.