From Judex Okoro, Calabar
The Vice Chancellor of the University of Calabar, Prof Florence Obi, has stated that it is high time government and corporate organisations saw talent discovery and development as a lucrative venture.
Speaking at the 2022 International Youth Day Celebration organised by the University of Calabar with support from the Cross River government and in partnership with international and local partners and held at the University of Calabar, Prof Obi said the International Youth Day was unique because it helps to amplify the voices of the younger generation.
Represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Administration), Obi stated that talents can create jobs for the youths and help reduce the rising rate of youth unemployment.
According to her, the 2022 Youth Day with the theme, ‘Intergenerational Solidarity; Creating a World for All Ages’, drew attention to the challenges and difficulties facing the youths.
“The importance of youth in any country cannot be overemphasised. Nigeria has the crop of the most talented youths in the world.
“I want to use this medium to call on government at all levels and corporate organisations to explore ways of harnessing the potentials and talents of the youths.
“Most Nigerian youths have had some breakthroughs in technology and others with special skills, but the government has failed to recognise them.
“Japan and South Korea are known for their strength in technology, this is because leaders of those countries have mastered the keys of harnessing the talents of the young people,” she said.
The Chairman of the National Youth Council of Nigeria in Cross River, Mr Daniel Obo, said the day was important because it affords them the opportunity to speak up and be heard.
Speaking also, Dr Yakubu Aliyu, a representative from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), said they have many programmes targeted at youth development and growth.
Aliyu said UNFPA will continue to design programmes that will uplift the standard and participation of youths in meaningful activities.
On his part, Mr Taofeek Adeleye, Prevention Programme Manager of AIDS Healthcare Foundation, said there was a need for young people to be empowered and mentored.