Charity Nwakaudu, Abuja
Former Minister of Sports and Youth Development Solomon Dalung has stressed that the problem with Nigeria is not policymaking but the lack of political will to implement policies.
Dalung while speaking at a roundtable discussion section organized by Patriotic Movement of Nigeria (PMN) looking at Nigeria & #EndSARS Protest: Way Forward, in Abuja, insisted that Nigeria has deliberately neglected the youths which must be addressed.
He said that it’s time the youths are taken more serious, given more consideration to avert the recurrence of what happened in the past few weeks.
He said: “Nigeria is not deficient in policies but lacks the political will to implement the policies, and until that is recognized there will be no progress. There’s deliberate neglect of the youth population. The Nigerian government has to take the youths more seriously, there must be a holistic approach to address the challenges of the youths in this country.
“In 2016 there was no allocation from the National Assembly to the ministry of youths and sports development. I had to solicit for funds from some prominent Nigerians to be able to host certain youths programs for the ministry before I later met the president who approved money for the ministry.
“If in a whole year, they did not see it necessary to appropriate fund to the ministry of youth and sports development, that tells us the mindset of leadership to the youth development.”
Chairman PMN, Bello Abdulkadir, said in his welcome address that goverment need to mainstream youths in the empowerment programmes in order to reduce the unemployment rates in the country.
Abdulkadir suggested that government match its words with action with regard to implementing the pledges it made to the movement; avoiding the pitfalls of criminalizing the movement and sanctioning its chief drivers and financiers.