Foundation trains 200 youths on leadership skills, digital literacy
By EricJames Ochigbo
No fewer than 200 youths across the country were on Thursday, trained and equipped with various skills by the Solomon and Mary Lar Foundation in Abuja.
The youths were trained in essential leadership skills , cyber security, web design, online marketing, use of artificial intelligence and entrepreneurship tips.
Speaking at event, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Tajudeen Abbas said that with a staggering youth population estimated to be over 134 million, Nigeria holds the third position globally in terms of having the most youthful population, surpassed only by India and China.
Abbas ,who was represented by Rep. Ado Doguwa, Chairman House Committee on Petroleum Upstream, said that the demographic statistics presents both an opportunity for development and a challenge.
According to him, a well-devised strategy will create avenues for economic empowerment and social cohesion.
He said neglecting the youth would lead to some other consequences for the nation.
“Therefore, it is imperative that we prioritise empowering our youth with essential skills in leadership, entrepreneurship, and technology, as these areas drive socio-economic progress, growth, development and self-reliance and reduces the tendency for restiveness.
“The National Assembly has over the years recognised the need to ensure that young people are given opportunity to develop their potential as leaders in the society and have come up with legislation to empower them.
“That was why in 2018, we passed the “>Not-Too-Young-To-Run Bill” which was signed into law by the last administration.
“This was made to remove age barrier in some elective positions in government to pave the way for young people to vie to political offices.
“The Nigerian Startup Act, 2022,was part of the innovations in information technology to create job for the young people in the area of technology,” he said.
The speaker said that the 10th House of Representatives had identified youth development as one of its key priorities.
According to him, in the house is ready to support ICT and Digital Economy through legislation that promotes digital innovation, data protection and e-commerce.
He explained that it was to further strengthen the opportunities available to the young people in a technology driven and digital generation.
“The house also created committees on Young Parliamentarians, Youth Development, Women Affairs and SDGs to continuously engage the young people for leadership development through empowerment programmes.
“I am currently sponsoring a bill in this 10th House, for an Act to establish National Youths Welfare Scheme Fund,to manage and coordinate youths welfare services in order to reduce challenges in governance and security in the country” he said.
In her remarks, Prof. Mary Lar, co-founder of the foundation ,said that the aim of the training was to give back to the society beginning from the youth.
Lar said that the youth are future leaders, change makers,adding the hope of the country lies in the hands of the youth.
She said that the youth are expected to bring justice, unity and tolerance to the land, provide employment and social amenities for the next generation.
“Youths, you have a big role to play because you have to shape yourself into a responsible and trustworthy person ,that has good morals and values.
“If this is not done, the nation ill be affected as the youth cannot never be under estimated in what they can give to the nation,” she said.
Lar urged the youth not to be discouraged as low morale would affect their mentality.
She also said youths should be groomed properly to attain their potential.