#ENDSARS : ACCI Urges Govt To Constructively Engage Youths in Policies, Programmes
By Latifat Opoola
The Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) has called on the Nigerian government to constructively engage youths all in its policies and programmes in order to curb youth delinquency in the country.
President of the Chamber, Prince Adetokunbo Kayode stated this during an interview with a TV station in Abuja over the weekend.
Prince Kayode regretted that youths who were campaigning for an end to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) division of the Nigerian Police, had to experience their campaign being hijacked by third parties in the system.
He stated that “what seemed like a fantastic idea, is now becoming a little bit of an inconvenience. I also know that there is the tendency, for third parties, state actors or non state actors or even rogue elements to infiltrate and now use the campaign as an opportunity to create a chaotic situation, which we have experienced”.
While emphasising that the country needs reforms in several sectors, he also stressed that the reforms once identified are not going to be achieved in one day. “Anybody who thinks that reforms can happen swiftly does not understand the meaning of reform. But the important thing is that it is good to point it out and the important thing is that young people have pointed it out and government must key into it. In fact they are helping government solve problems which it has already identified and is having problem solving” he said.
He pointed out that there was a lot of poverty and unemployment in the country, calling on government to come up with a clear cut and focused policy to tackle it. “Poverty must be tackled as a deliberate policy of government” he said.
Prince Kayode also stressed the need for the Police Force to be reformed, recalling that “from the time of President Obasanjo, there have been three attempts to reform the police, and in 2010, there was another panel set up to harmonize the report of the three panels”.
“Government does not need to create an ideal policy but should start somewhere and let us see a clear cut attempt to reform the police. Look at their trainings, their curriculum, their facilities, how they are treated and so on. There should be a deliberate policy and it should involve the youth” he said.
The biggest challenge we have in this country is skills, our system has not made the connection between skills development and poverty, and youth delinquency and the challenge facing the nation. The country overemphasizes education without skills development. We must begin to engage youths with skills” he added.
Prince Kayode however said youths who want to be leaders, must work for it, and most importantly must have a vision of how they want to develop the country within the time of their leadership.
“Most successful leaders have vision. We are now talking about agenda 2050. What is that vision and then how to get there. A good leader brings in brilliant people to work with him. One person that I know that interestingly was able to use many young people was Chief Awolowo. He brought many young brilliant people around him. He was a genius in using brains and training them. So this is how it works. So it is from there when we mentor them that leadership will pop up”.
“A leaders is a servant and we must send young people to work for us. So we have to mentor them and help them come up, by helping them acquire skills and giving them responsibility as quickly as possible, as a matter of deliberate policy engage space for young people in critical areas” he said.
He called on the older generation to as a matter of urgency begin to mentor youths and empower them with skills acquisition and also by giving them responsibilities to take on.
“As a matter of deliberate policy, government should engage space for young people in critical areas. Take out the youth policy let the youths drive it. Let’s give them work to do, so that they will see how easy it is and they will know where the shoe pinches and thirdly they will also know and learn quickly”.