By Tina George, Minna
A group of youths in Niger state has called on governor, Abubakar Sani Bello to consider young people in the appointment to lhis core cabinet.
The youths noted that the state has credible youths whose potentials should be tapped and who can move the state forward to achieve its development agenda.
This call was made by the ONE Champion in Niger state, Justina Asishana in collaboration with Convener Niger Accountability Group Mathew Oladele in a press statement to commemorate the International Youth Day (IYD).
“This is a call to the Governor to critically and strategically consider young persons in his appointment to his core cabinet. It is in our anticipation that, a capable youth will be appointed to head a ministry, department or agency of government in Niger State.
“The state has a lot of credible youth to provide required support for the drive for socio economic development agenda of the state. This potential should be tapped. The Youth are no longer leaders of tomorrow, Our Tomorrow starts today.”
Speaking on the theme of the 2019 International Youth Day, which is ‘Transforming Education’, the youths frowned at the infrastructural decay in the area of education in the state whereby pupils in remote communities take lessons from classrooms that have no chairs, roof and windows adding that in some scenarios, students still sit under trees to learn.
“The poor infrastructural developments in our schools, and employment of unqualified teachers are as well some of the misery of the poor educational system in the state.
“There are still schools in Minna metropolis where pupils sit on the ground to attend lectures, others worse situation are in remote communities where classrooms have no chairs, roof and windows where student’s classrooms are under the tree.
“All these are accrued to poor funding, low prioritization of educational sector development and mismanagement of fund. Moreover, Niger State government under the current administration have assessed and expended about N7.3 billion on the backlog of counterpart funding’s intervention of 2013-2014 and 2015-2016 from Universal Basic Education (UBE). “
They lamented on the fact that Niger state has the largest number of out-of-school children in the north central with ovwr 478,412 out of school children across the 25 local government areas of the state.
“In a gloomy reflection on Niger State, this is to note that, youth education in this state has suffered a major setback. According to available data published by UNICEF in 2018, one in every five out-of-school children is in Niger State.
“Report also has it that Niger has the highest number of out-of-school children in the North Central with total of 478,412 across the 25 LGAs.”
The Youths then stressed on the urgent need for the total overhauling of the education sector in the state considering the growing trend in youth unemployment, poor education infrastructures, high rate of out-of-school children and other pressing challenges facing educational sector in the state.
“In March 2016, the Governor of Niger State, His Excellency Abubakar Sani Bello flagged off Transforming Education in Niger State (TENS) with the vision to create an education system that is effective and efficient with modern infrastructure, facilities and equipment.
“The programme was also designed to have a sufficient classroom for teaching and a revised teacher pupils’ ratio to reduce and avoid overcrowded classrooms. Provision of ICT facilities, textbooks modern science laboratories were supposed to be available for student to learn under the program, sadly, after four years of implementation, the project has not met its aim.”
In addressing the increasing unemployment among youths in the state, the group recommended that, the government should create an enabling environment for technology to thrive in the state and look into providing opportunities for young Nigerlites to be exposed to ICT for development.
“These are the few avenues to remodel our young vibrant and intelligent minds in Niger State as we continue in this dispensation.”