UN Under-Secretary-General tasks Nigerian youths to amplify good deeds

AMINA Mohammed, United Nations Deputy Secretary-General on Monday challenged the Nigerian youths across the globe to amplify their good deeds beyond individual success to overshadow other weaknesses.

She gave the advice at the launch of The Future Awards Africa (TFAA) held at Transcorp Hilton, Abuja themed: “The new Nigerian tribe”.

Describing the youths including those from other African countries as the generation of change-makers, she emphasised need to operate as a movement and support each other to realise personal goals.

“We have amazing youths doing great things everywhere. What we need to do is to amplify their voices and make it a movement, and not just a one-off or a shooting star.

“Now, more than ever before we need African youths to get active and use their greater awareness, education, and connectivity for a positive impact in our families, communities, schools, and the society overall,” says Mohammed.

“Let’s amplify the good things that we do so that we can crowd out the not-so-good things; if we put our attention on the good things, there is no stopping us. You are a generation of change-makers – innovators, entrepreneurs, etc., you have moulded your strong vision for a collective Africa, and I think that is really unusual.

“Challenge yourself and continue to empower fellow youths to achieve your full potential. As you lead and advance good governance in your various communities, remember to uphold values of shared responsibility, collectivism, accountability, obligation, and transparency.”

In addition, she advocated for unity among various socio-cultural and economic groups in the country.

According to her, Nigeria’s unity and diversity is its strength, and such should be embraced and explore the opportunities.

Citing the old national anthem as a reference, she noted that tribes and tongues may differ, “in brotherhood we stand and that was a really important part of what I feel we lost.

“While I will like to say more than brotherhood and sisterhood, I think the unity today is something we must need to talk about. It is our strength, our strength is in our diversity and it should not be what fragments us. It should not be what scatters us across opportunities that we have.”

In his remarks, the Minister of Youth and Sport, Sunday Dare identified the need to celebrate good deeds and reward great fetes. This, he noted would encourage other youths to do same and contribute meaningfully to national development.

Dare, however, announced plans to establish the Nigerian National Youth and Sports Award by 2020 to recognise young Nigerians making the nation proud at different aspects of life.

His words: “Further to this, we will push for the establishment and institutionalisation of the Nigerian National Youth and Sports Award, which we hope will commence in 2020.

“The award seeks to recognise and honour youth who have made astounding contributions in the areas of youth and sports development. In this way, we hope to project national icons that will not only inspire their peers but hopefully motivate and breed patriotism among them.”

It could be recalled that on August 23rd, the US announced a list of 77 Nigerians accused of internet fraud. Nigeria’s anti-graft agency, two days after disclosed its readiness to help the US prosecute the accused persons.

Earlier, Mohammed Yahaya, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative expressed excitement on the milestones achieved by selected young Nigerians at different sectors of the economy.

But he called for consistency to ensure their dreams are realised.

“Every day, 33,000 Africans ended up in the job market and 60 percent of them don’t have a job,” Yahaya added.

    Mr. Adebola Williams, co-founder of the TFAA, expressed similar views as the UN deputy director stressing that stories of Nigerians doing great exploits should be shared across board to overshadow the gloomy narrative.

    “The TFAA has to go harder in telling the stories of innovation in our country. We must use our various platforms to tell the stories of great exploits by the Nigerian youths. We want to change the wrong perception of Nigerian youths.”

    He, however, called for integrity on the parts of the youths, sincerity of purpose and commitments to change the wrong narrative about the nation.

    Since its inception in 2008, 209 African youths have been awarded from 1,291 nominees in 25 countries.

    Olugbenga heads the Investigations Desk at The ICIR. Do you have a scoop? Shoot him an email at [email protected]. Twitter Handle: @OluAdanikin

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