Monday, 13 August 2018

Int'l Youth Day: We will continue to provide safe spaces for our youths - Ben Ayade

The executive governor of Cross River State, Senator(Prof.) Ben Ayade has on Thursday assured youths in the state of government's commitment to creating safe spaces for them to fully develop and utilize their potentials for the overall development of the state and the nation at large.

The governor who was speaking at a youth colloqium held at the Transcorp Hotel, Calabar, to mark this year's International Youth Day which has as its theme, ''Safe Spaces for Youth'', said the present administration has expanded government to create opportunities for more youths to be engage and contribute positively to the process of governance, noting that Cross River State is adjudged as the most youth friendly state in the country, with over 4,000 youths appointed into various positions of responsibilities.

Governor Ayade, represented by the honourable commissioner for youth and sports development, Comrade Asu Okang, disclosed that Cross River is the first state in Nigeria that came up with a clear cut roadmap for employment generation for youths, saying government has engaged 15,000 young people in ICT and agriculture through its multi sectoral youth employment programme supported by UNPFA. He also revealed that 5,000 unemployed youths who have graduated from tertiary institutions would be enrol in the graduate internship scheme billed to take off in November this year.

He said: ''The present administration thought it wise to expand government. At the last count, we have over 4,000 young people occupying different positions of responsibilities. We thought it wise to, beyond the expansion of government, strategically locate young people to occupy places and positions of prominence to be able to bring and add value to governance in Cross River State. Today we have at least four commissioners in the executive council under 40. We have directors-general of agencies, parastatals and commissions under 35 who are doing exploits.

''This is to clearly tell you that this administration is youth friendly and to also understand that we 've taken youth development beyond paying lip service. Cross River State is adjudged the most youth friendly state in Nigeria. Cross River is the first state that came out with a clear cut roadmap for employment generation for young people. We 've engaged 15,000 youths in ICT and agriculture under the multi sectoral youth employment programme with support from UNPFA. Over 5,000 young people from 11 LGAs have benefit from the youth employment and social support programme of the ministry of youth and sports development.

''There is also the graduate internship scheme coming up toward the end of November this year. The scheme will accommodate unemployed young people who have degree, diploma and NCE.''

The state governor also said that government in the last few years had created safe spaces for youth in sports development through home and oversea training programmes, adding that about 21 young graduates in the civil, electrical and mechanical engineering specialties would soon depart the country for China where they are to be thoroughly trained and return to constitute technical man-power for the recently commissioned Rice City and Calapharm projects respectively.

Concluding, Prof Ayade charged youths to take active part in the political process by ensuring they register and obtain their Permanent Voter's Card(PVC), as this he said, will enable them to vote in the right candidates who can bring the change they desired.

Kelivin Obambon writes from Calabar, CRS.