President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria has directed relevant government officials to ensure that young people with the requisite skills and experience are included in all Boards and Committees of the Federal Government.
The President, gave the directive while receiving members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Youth Lobby Group, on Friday in Abuja.
He specifically mandated the Chief of Staff and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) to abide by this directive.
According to him, young people’s inclusion in governance will encourage learning and mentoring in government and politics.
The president asked the SGF to submit a report on the inclusion of young people on boards and committees that were yet to be constituted, next month.
He further directed his Chief of Staff, Prof Ibrahim Gambari and the SGF, Boss Mustapha, to ensure monthly engagements with the APC Youth Lobby group for better synergy and cross pollination of ideas and opportunities.
He urged top government officials to explore the establishment of a Committee of young people to form the monitoring and evaluation team of ongoing Federal Government projects across the country.
He said the committee would provide feedback which would enable his government to hold public office holders and those given responsibility to account.
The president also welcomed the idea of the establishment of a Presidential Committee on Youth in liaison with the youth leader, requesting the SGF and the Chief of Staff to work out the modalities for its operationalization.
Buhari told the APC Youth Lobby Group led by Ismaeel Ahmed that the leadership of the party would ensure full participation of young people at all levels.
”I will also support the aspirations of credible and committed young people who are vying for positions in the upcoming convention.
”It is also in our interest to ensure the longevity of our party by standardizing and institutionalizing the leadership recruitment system.
”Hard working and exemplary individuals should be identified and encouraged and mentored.
”It should be a deliberate policy of the progressives in ensuring that we have a robust succession plan in place,” he said.
While commending members of the APC National Youth Lobby group for the work they are doing for the party, the president said:
”You are not begging, but negotiating, staking a claim and seeking to add value, which is admirable.”
He urged them to help the party achieve a successful Convention on February 26, 2022 and in subsequent elections in Ekiti and Osun.
Buhari declared that APC must be made attractive for younger people to ”continuously take ownership of it because that is the future, and that is what progress means.”
The president, who expressed support for the establishment of the Progressive Institute for the party, said:
”The party must have an Institute where its ethos, character and mantra are inculcated in our members. I will rely on you to share the concept note for further action.”
Buhari, who endorsed the 2021 APC Youth Conference Report presented to him, assured the Group that the recommendations in the report that are within his own remit would be given favourable consideration.
He also promised to encourage the leadership of the States and the party to implement the recommendations of the report for the benefit of young progressives.
In his remarks, the APC Youth leader, who described the president as the leader of the party and moral compass of the nation, thanked him for sending a powerful delegation to the Progressive Youth Conference in June 2021.
According to him, this gesture has demonstrated that the present government believes in young people.
”Mr President, young people in Nigeria believe in your capacity and the history of your public service.
”You joined the Army at the age of 20, you joined the war to save the country at the age of 25, became a governor at the age of 33, minister at 36 and Head of State at 41.
”You joined politics at the age of 60 and was elected President at the age of 72. You have demonstrated through your personal example, the integrity that very few people have had the opportunity to demonstrate in the country,” he said.
On the forthcoming APC convention, Ahmed appealed to the President to speak for the ”young people whenever we are not there to speak for ourselves, as you have always done.”