SPEECH OF THE HONOURABLE COMMISSIONER FOR YOUTH AND HUMANITARIAN AFFAIRS ON THE OCCASION OF THE STRATEGY DIALOGUE FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE EDO STATE YOUTH DEVELOPMENT POLICY

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    SPEECH OF THE HONOURABLE COMMISSIONER FOR YOUTH AND HUMANITARIAN AFFAIRS ON THE OCCASION OF THE STRATEGY DIALOGUE FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE EDO STATE YOUTH DEVELOPMENT POLICY

    1. The Edo State Government is concerned about the welfare of her citizenry and has continued to invest resources both fiscal and manpower in the socio-economic development of residents of the State. The youth demographic is a huge part of our population and though they form the lower percentile of the working population, the contribution of the youth to national development cannot be undermined nor ignored. The Nigerian youth, especially in recent happenings, have continued to stir up within themselves yearnings for wide scale development and amplified their voices through self-motivated endeavours as well as role models-influenced achievements. They have subtly but effectively dominated creative and tech-based business spaces and have created a niche for themselves which has evolved to normative and widely accepted environments for thriving businesses.

    2. The Nigerian Youths have demonstrated strength in unity through a few achieved feats and of most notable is the ‘Not too Young to run Act’ and a hopeful start-up bill recently passed by the Nigerian Senate. It is therefore important to set up structures, programmes and policies in place that will address sustainably, the dire needs of the Nigerian Youths. At the national level, the National Youth Policy has been established which gives a broad view and guidelines of the government’s commitment towards youth development. This policy will serve as a base upon which the Edo State Youth Development Policy will hinge while reflecting state peculiarities, priorities and indigenous structures that will foster the development of the Edo Youth in all ramifications as perceived by relevant stakeholders.

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    3. The Edo State Youth Development Policy, in coherence with the National Youth Policy, will state in clear terms the definition of a youth reflecting gender balance, stating the roles and commitment of the government as well as corresponding responsibilities of the Edo youth.

    4. I want to implore all stakeholders here today to contribute objectively and effectively towards this discourse which will form the bulk of the Edo State Youth Development Policy. The thrust of the discussions will be centered on:
    ● The overall vision of the Youth Development Policy;
    ● Strategic objective, policy objectives and measures;
    ● Thematic focus and indicators (employment, employability, Entrepreneurship, equality) and
    ● The guiding principles of the policy (inclusiveness, participation, approach)
    These will form an integral part of the framework of the policy, and it is expected that the deliberations will be robust and insightful enough to develop a well-articulated policy document.

    5. The Edo State Youth Development Policy will serve as an instrument to achieve some of the objectives of the Making Edo State Great Again (M.E.G.A) agenda of this administration towards the development of youths in Edo State. The Edo State government through its initiatives wishes to change the narrative of perception of Edo Youths across the Country and indeed the globe.

    6. I wish to, on behalf of the Edo State Ministry of Youths and Humanitarian Affairs, express our gratitude to His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki for his commitment to youth development and through this meeting the development of the Edo State Youth Development Policy as this policy will be instrumental in addressing issues affecting target beneficiaries of the Ministry of Youths and Humanitarian Affairs.

    7. In conclusion, I welcome you all to this epoch-making event and wish everyone a fruitful deliberation.

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