The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has reinstated the role of youths in nation-building, charging governments at all levels to prioritize policies to guarantee the much-needed environment to support youth participation in politics and governance.
Obaseki made the call when he received the 2023 Mandela Washington Fellows who were on a courtesy visit at the Government House, Benin City.
Reaffirming his government’s commitment to youth development, Obaseki said the state government will continue to pursue reforms and programmes to enable more young people in the state to unlock their potential and contribute effectively to the socio-economic growth of the state and country.
He said, “We must identify and groom young leaders and begin to give them responsibilities, as this is the only way we can build this country.
“Young people complain that the system is not open for them and such narratives and orientation must be changed. Young people must be given responsibilities very early and see how they handle it.”
Reassuring the government’s commitment to partnering with the fellows, Obaseki queried, “How do you partner with the Edo State Government to have programmes for young leaders? How do we identify, support, nurture, and train them into leadership roles?”
He further noted, “For the two Mandela Washington Fellows this year, we are giving you the option to work directly with me either in the healthcare space, business promotion, or development. We have a huge opportunity, particularly at the policy level.”
“After acquiring the relevant training, we can partner with you to see how we can cascade those skills and training to a much wider array of young people.”
The leader of the delegation, Oluwafunmi Adebayo said they are on the visit to introduce Dr. Uyiosa Obasohan and Engr. Osato Omo Osemwingie, who have been identified by the US Government for their outstanding work in their communities.
She noted that the fellows have three key areas which include civic engagement, business, and public management, adding, “We have a proposal to work with the government to help raise leaders in these areas.
“We plan to host 58 fellows selected across Nigeria on the 2nd of August 2023 in the Nigeria House in Washington DC. The US Government will host them first, recognizing their skills and talents. We invite you as the keynote speaker on that day."