The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has called on Nigerian youths to build a great society, telling them to let their generation heal the country’s wounds.
Osinbajo made this call on Saturday at the combined convocation ceremony of the Federal University, Wukari, in Taraba State, where he represented President Muhammadu Buhari, the institution’s Visitor.
In his address titled ‘A Great Future,’ Osinbajo asked young Nigerians to “see the various challenges in our environment as opportunities for the creation of solutions, as we are a nation with a rapidly expanding population with attendant human sustenance needs”.
“Let it be your generation that will bury those prejudices, heal those wounds and build a great society of brothers and sisters of all tribes and tongues,” the Vice President was quoted as saying via a statement issued on Sunday by his spokesman, Laolu Akande.
“You belong to a generation of Nigerians ordained by momentous historical circumstances to play on a grander stage. You belong to the most globalized generation ever to walk this earth and your field of competition is not local, but global. You have come of age in the era of a worldwide marketplace of opportunity.
“Refuse to be consumed by the petty prejudices and biases that predispose you to mutual antagonism with your fellow citizens. You must refuse to be prisoners of history and commit to encountering the world with an open mind.”
According to him, the Nigerian can-do spirit is an inspiration to establish globally renowned industries and achieve great things, as it has earned many Nigerians international acclaim.
Noting the impact of young Nigerians in the digital technology space, Osinbajo said: “Our tech entrepreneurs and innovators are not just applying their talents to profit-making endeavours, but also seeking to address social problems.
“Young Nigerians, such as yourselves, are pioneering new patterns of enterprise and wealth creation and, in the process, have established this country as the most vibrant innovation hub on the African continent.”
On the Federal Government’s continued support for various initiatives, Osinbajo highlighted initiatives such as the N75 billion National Youth Investment Fund; the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Creative Sector Fund and the over $600 million investing in Digital and Creative Enterprises (iDICE) programme, which the president approved recently.
The iDICE programme will support young techies and creative sector entrepreneurs through the provision of finance, skills development and infrastructure, he said.
He disclosed that the Nigeria Jubilee Fellows Programme – which will last for five years and will be funded by the Federal Government, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the European Union (EU), is set to begin.
The Vice President stressed that the programme will provide 20,000 young graduates with fully-paid 12-month internships in reputable private and public sector organizations across the country on an annual basis.
This is even as he emphasised that President Buhari’s administration recognises that infrastructure is key to development like digital technology provides a pathway to accelerated growth.