Hamzat Lawal, the Chief Executive Officer of Connected Development, a civil society organization, has expressed his appreciation for President Bola Tinubu’s decision to appoint Dr. Jamila Bio Ibrahim as the Minister of Youth.
In a statement sent to journalists on Monday, Lawal said such an appointment is a significant step in empowering the youth of Nigeria.
He said: ”Dr. Jamila Bio Ibrahim, at age 37, represents a choice that underscores the president’s commitment to Nigerian youth,” adding that ”her appointment is a positive signal that the government is focused on engaging and empowering young people.”
The youth advocate, listed as a Global Malala Fund Education Champion in 2020, urged the minister to focus on issues affecting young people in Nigeria, like unemployment and lack of quality education.
His words: ”One of the most pressing issues facing Nigerian youth is unemployment. Dr. Ibrahim should prioritize creating and expanding initiatives that promote youth employment.
”This can be achieved through partnerships with the private sector to provide more job opportunities and support entrepreneurship programs that enable young people to start and grow their businesses. These initiatives could encompass skill development, mentorship programs, and access to capital.
”Also, quality education and skill development are fundamental to youth empowerment. The youth minister should work with her counterpart in the education ministry to improve the country’s education system, ensuring that it aligns with the demands of the job market.
”Additionally, investing in vocational and technical education can equip young people with practical skills that make them more employable. Scholarships, grants, and incentives can encourage youth to pursue education and training.”
He added that a crucial aspect of youth empowerment is ensuring gender equality and inclusion.
”The minister should focus on promoting gender mainstreaming by creating policies and programs that address gender disparities. By empowering young women and promoting their equal participation in all sectors, Nigeria can harness the full potential of its youth population,” he counselled.
Lawal also commended Dr. Ibrahim’s interest in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), noting that ”it is commendable.”
”She can lead the charge in ensuring these goals are integrated into the policies and programs designed for youth empowerment.
”The SDGs offer a comprehensive framework for addressing issues such as education, health, economic growth, and gender equality, which are critical for youth development,” he concluded.