As part of efforts to foster Unity among Nigerian youths and enhance their participation in governance, Click Naija Online Radio, Radio Nigeria’s first online channel, organised a youth engagement event tagged ‘Unite Naija’, on Thursday, 27th July 2023, which held at Radio House, Garki, Abuja.

Some Panelists at the event

The show which had young panelists from different socio-political backgrounds, featured discussions touching on issues of concern to Nigerian youths such as Education reforms, insecurity, unemployment, and climate change.

With the theme, ‘Unite Naija – Youth Expectations from the New Nigerian Government’, the show aimed among other things, came up with resolutions to aide the new administration of President Bola Tinubu in addressing some of the challenges Nigerian youths face.

In her opening remarks, the Zonal Director, Abuja Operations, Sherrifat Ahmed, represented by the General Manager of Kapital FM Abuja, Bukky Towuru, urged Nigerian youths to focus on things that unite them rather than things that divide them, to enable them contribute meaningfully to governance and national development.

Speaking on the theme of the event, the Head, Click Naija online Radio, Ehi Ohiani, said that, the ‘Unite Naija’ youth engagement show is in line with the station’s vision of creating original content with Nigerian youths to amplify their voices in the political and governance space.

At the end of the panel discussion, the panelist drafted some resolutions in certain key areas

  • Education: The panelists identified poor funding of educational institutions by government at all levels as one of the main cause of the falling standard of education in Nigeria.

They therefore, called on government to increase the budget for education.

They also called for an overhaul of the educational curriculum to reflect modern day realities.

  • Operationalization of Youth Entrepreneurship Bank: The panel recommended the establishment of specialised Youth Entrepreneurship Bank. This institution should offer loans at a low interest rate of 5%, providing much-needed financial support to aspiring entrepreneurs.
  • Government Agencies to Patronize Young Entrepreneurs: The youth representatives called for government agencies to patronize made in Nigerian goods and services provided by the Nigerian youths as well as ensure prompt payments to entrepreneurs after delivering their services or products, in order for them to remain in business.
  • Reviewing Foreign Policies for Economic and Political Benefits: The panelists called on government to make Nigeria’s economic and political interest a top priority in its relationships and dealings with other countries by forging mutual beneficial partnerships with the international community with the aim of enhancing Nigeria’s stand in the committee of nations and fostering economic growth.

Meanwhile, panelists at the forum, were Dr. Sanusi Ohiare; Former Governorship Aspirant, Kogi 2023 and Former ED, Rural Electrification Fund, Andy Iji; Country Rep. United Nations Regional Working Group on Women, Youth, Peace, and Security in West Africa & the Sahel and Barrister, Juliet Ikhayere; Principal, Makhom-J Attorneys.

Others include Associate Professor, Dr. Ernest Ereke; Department of Political Science, University of Abuja, Josie Itoyah- Spledor; Political Analyst & Public Affairs Commentator, Aliyu Audu; Convener, Youth for Progressive Change and Development Initiative.

As well as, Vannesa Anionu; Student President, Department of Guidance & Counselingng, University of Abuja, and Jethro Odebekun; Graduate of the Guidance & Counselling Department, University of Abuja.

Click Naija’s Elizabeth Ereke and Nasir Yinusa moderated the discussion.

The ‘Unite Naija’ event provided a platform for Nigerian youths to have issue-based discussions and debates on politics and governance, devoid of the usual rancor and divisive rhetoric that characterize engagements involving Nigerian youths in recent times.

Story: Ihuoma Ukeje