Bayelsa urges youths to proffer solutions for better society
By Kenechukwu Obiajuru, Yenagoa
Miss Mary Torunana, who represents Bayelsa Central at the Nigerian Youth Parliament, on Wednesday, urged Bayelsa youths to go beyond criticising the government and to proffering solutions for a better society.
Torunana gave the advice to youth leaders from Bayelsa Central Senatorial District during a town hall meeting with the theme; “Youthful Conversations for a Better Society,” at the Yenagoa council hall.
She noted that the present youth administration in Bayelsa inaugurated on February 14, 2020, was affected and slowed down by the COVID-19 pandemic and was still disposed to creative ideas that would make for a better Bayelsa.
Three resource persons took turns to sensitise the youths on several opportunities available to youths empowerment across the country and encouraged them to take advantage of the opportunities.
Dr Michael Amaegberi, executive secretary, Bayelsa state Higher Educations Loans Board, in his remarks, said that the Bayelsa government has empowered the board to offer interest-free loans to indigent students of Bayelsa in public universities to finance their education.
According to him, the policy, which was initiated by the immediate past administration was backed by law to ensure continuity, adding that the current administration of Gov Douye Diri has continued to fund and support the scheme.
He explained that the loan is repayable one year after the beneficiaries have completed their national youth service.
Amaegberi said that the scheme presently caters for students in Nigerian tertiary institutions.
According to him, efforts were underway to amend the law that established the board to accommodate studies in foreign institutions.
Dr Hephzibah Suobo, an official of the World Assembly of Youth (WAY), who represented the vice president (Africa) of WAY, Mr Preye Ketebu-Brown, noted that youths were critical in the development of every society
He challenged youths from Bayelsa to take the front row in the global conversation about the environmental consequences of fossils fuel and carbon emission, as Bayelsa has borne the brunt of oil exploration and production for about 60 years.
Also, Mr Ighosotu Kelvin, a member of Nigerian Youth Parliament representing Delta Central Senatorial District, highlighted opportunities in programmes by the Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports and urged Bayelsa youths to key into them.
He noted that there were so many programmes designed by the federal government for youths, but regretted that the majority of youths were apprehensive and dissipated energy and time on social media and unproductive activities.
Kelvin said that 13,000 youths from Bayelsa would benefit from the N75 billion Nigerian Youth Investment Fund, adding that youths from Bayelsa could only benefit from the fund if they applied. He urged the state government to assist the youths with capacity building programmes to prepare youths to meet the criteria to qualify for the scheme.
The youths later created two groups to examine issues confronting Bayelsa with a view to finding and proffering workable solutions.
The first group would examine education and security, while the second group would look into health and environmental challenges to generate ideas and provide solutions on how the best the government would approach the challenges.