The President, African Development Bank (AFDB), Dr Akinwunmi Adesina, has appealed to the Federal Government to deepen investment in youth, to enable them put their entrepreneurial ingenuity to good use.
Adesina, who spoke virtually at the 2020 Nigerian Prize for Leadership at the weekend in Abuja, noted that Nigerian youth are plagued by plethora of challenges like unemployment, limited technical and vocational skills, limited inclusion in the socio-political space and lack of finances to develop their businesses.
“No nation is perfect. But those who learn from history become greater. Events repeat itself twice when people do not learn. As a nation, Nigeria should do everything possible to invest and reinvest itself by focusing on the youth.
“Today, we have 206 million people, 70 per cent of them are under the age of 30. What Nigeria does will determine its future. Nigeria youth face most challenges including unemployment, limited technical and vocational skills, limited inclusion in the social political space and lack of finances to develop their businesses.
“It is time that Nigeria put its capital to use to unleash the entrepreneurial capacity and creativity of its youth,” he said.
Meanwhile, former Minister of Information, Jerry Gana, explained that the Nigerian Prize for Leadership, was organized to promote good governance across board.
Gana, who was a presidential aspirant, noted that without quality leadership the country would continue to grope in corruption and ineffective governance.
“The central focus for the Nigerian prize for leadership is how best to identify, promote and celebrate good leadership. To us, the vital question for good leadership is fundamental.
“When leadership is ineffective everything else stops. The nation or any society cannot function without good leadership. Indeed if you do not have good leadership things may very well scatter.
“However, good leadership breeds excellence that leads to transformation of any society. If you therefore which to move society forward, the key thing to watch is to really have the zest of good leadership.
“In the Nigeria prize for leadership we do not worry about superficial matters. We go for the fundamental. After all, when the infrastructure is set with solid foundation, the super structure has every chance of success,” he said.
The Secretary of the Governing Board, Dr Ike Neliaku, added that awardees would be decorated with a sach, medal and financial to reward, so as to encourage them maintain the tempo of good leadership.