The Federal Government, in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, has assured that it will step up awareness creation to enable youth in the country make informed decision on food choices in line with the increasing global education on the healthiest and most sustainable options for both individuals and the environment.
The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare disclosed this in Abuja on Thursday, 12 August, 2021 at the occasion of the commemoration of the 2021 International Youth Day Celebration (IYD)
According to him, “Government will create the enabling environment and inclusive support mechanisms to ensure that the youth continue to amplify efforts collectively and individually to restore the planet and protect life, while integrating biodiversity in the transformation of food systems in line with the objectives of this year’s celebration”.
The Minister who expressed delight as Nigerian Youth join their counterparts across the world to mark the 2021 International Youth Day Celebration explained that the President Muhammadu Buhari led Administration recognises the fact that, Youth hold a crucial role in the socio-economic development of the country, especially as we work towards the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and related frameworks.
Dare stated further that, “recent global priorities have centered on fighting the impacts of climate change, unemployment, poverty, gender inequality, conflict, and migration. Many nations including our country Nigeria, have witnessed young people’s unprecedented mobilization around the world, which has shown the massive power they possess to hold decision-makers accountable.”
He noted that the International Youth Day constitutes part of the United Nation’s broader World Programme of Action for Youth (WPAY), an initiative targeted at promoting the general wellbeing and livelihood of young people with priority focused on education, employment, poverty and hunger.
Others he said, are environment, drug abuse, juvenile delinquency, leisure-time activities, health, girls and women, HIV/AIDS, Information and Communication Technology, Inter-generational issues, armed conflict, the mixed impact of globalization, and the full and effective participation of the youth in socio-economic development and in decision making process
He stated that the theme for this year’s celebration which is: “Transforming Food Systems: Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health”, seeks to highlight the urgency of transforming food systems, particularly in the wake of a global pandemic, stressing that it also identifies youth engagement as a key factor to the transformation of food systems.
This, according to him, is in realization of the fact that success of such a global effort may not be achieved without the meaningful involvement and participation of young people.
Dare said that it is in line with this objective that the present administration through the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development is presently training close to 5,000 Nigerian Youth across the six geopolitical zones of the country in critical areas of green stimulus, digital skills, AI and Robotics as well as in clean and renewable energy.
Earlier in his remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Nebeolisa Anako said that youth involvement in every sphere of our national development plan, would not only increase investment but also promote ownership and sustainability of change interventions as well as strengthening the youth abilities to meet their own needs towards fulfilling dreams and aspirations.
Also speaking, the UNFPA Resident Representative to Nigeria, Ms. Ulla Elisabeth Mueller emphasized that, the youth have the power to make the change and difference the world requires especially in the area of health and socio-economic development.
Goodwill messages were delivered by representatives of Ministers of FCT, Women Affairs, Humanitarian and Social Development, Labour and Productivity, Agriculture, Health as well as Directors-General of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), among others.