The Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has said Nigeria is playing a catch-up game in almost all sectors because of the inability of leaders to provide an enabling environment for youths to thrive.
He disclosed this while speaking at the National Children’s Dialogue to mark the 2021 Universal Children’s Day held at the Yar’adua Centre on Saturday.
He said Nigeria was witnessing the consequences of a sustained negligence, which have culminated into the challenges facing the country.
Gbajabiamila said that despite the passage of the “Not Too Young to Run Bill,” the playing field still remained challenging for Nigerian youths despite their talents and abilities to chart a course for the future of the country.
He said deliberate efforts must be made to prepare the children and youth of Nigeria to become the leaders of tomorrow desired of them.
Gbajabiamila said, “That debate on direct primaries, which I championed, is about the future of our country. Our position in the 9th House of Representatives is that everyone must have equal opportunities to participate in governance and the democratic process.
“Our young people must have a seat at the high table and we must create the enabling environment for them to be in leadership, such that a young man with bold ideas can come out to vie for any position, be it legislator, governor or any other office.
“That can only be achieved through direct primaries, which will give a fair chance to the youth of this country to be involved in governance.”
Earlier, the founder, Children of Africa Leadership and Values Development Initiative (CALDEV), Bamidele Salam, said the project was initiated to build “exemplary” children with all the qualities that would lead Nigeria to become a great country.