Akinwumi Adesina, the President, African Development Bank, AfDB, has advised the Federal Government of Nigeria to stop demarketing Nigerian Youths.
Adesina further told the Government to empower the youths in order to guarantee their global competitiveness.
Adesina made the call on Wednesday at the Joshua Generation International Youth Conference on the theme “Living with a Purpose.”
The former Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development challenged the government to do everything possible to recreate itself by focusing on the youth, who represent the future of the country.
He enumerated some upsetting problems afflicting young Nigerians to include unemployment, limited technical and vocational skills, limited inclusion in social and political space, and lack of financing for ventures and businesses.
The AfDB boss added that Nigeria, with a population of 206 million people, of which 70 per cent are under the age of 30, should look into youth matters to secure a better tomorrow for the country and continent.
“The greater wealth of Africa, and of course Nigeria, will come from the youth. I know there are several misconceptions about the youth. I don’t understand why, because I was once a youth myself.
“The youth are not the problem of Nigeria, the youth are the assets of Nigeria. We must not relegate the youth to the background; we must put the youth in the fore.
“As a nation, Nigeria must do all possible to reinvent itself by focusing on the youth. Yet Nigeria’s youth face several challenges, including unemployment, limited technical and vocational skills, limited inclusion in social and political space, and lack of financing for ventures and businesses.
“Nigeria must embark on bolder measures to grow its youth into a well-trained globally competitive workforce.
“The youth do not need empowerment. Look around, often those who say they are empowering them are actually simply empowering themselves.
“The youth do not need handouts. The youth need investment,” Adesina stated.