Cleric demands 10 percent budget allocation on youth empowerment
By Ruth Oginyi
A pastor, Reverend David Ogbueli, on Tuesday called for allocation of 10 percent of federal and state governments budgets in Nigeria to youth empowerment.
Ogbueli, also urged the government to find heroes of the ENDSARS protest and give them national honours noting that though hoodlums hijacked the good intentions of the protest, the youths proved that they were future leaders.
He spoke in Abakaliki on Wednesday during Ebonyi #ENDSARS Youth Summit with the theme Youth Engagement in National Development.
“Africans in-home and diaspora should find solutions to nation-building. They need to team with their brothers at home because we have brilliant minds here and that’s why those that organized #ENDSARS here should be brought back to help us organized the way forward.
“Every Nigerian youth that has a job is among the few that got through the eye of the needle. The 75 percent of the population who are the youths that are under the poverty line are the tools anybody can weaponise; you can ask them to burn down the entire place and they will do with just N2,000 each.
“When politicians want to cause trouble, they go to find them, people who want to cause terrorism to go for them. In the South they are easily recruiting for militancy, in the North, they are easily recruiting for terrorism, in the East, they are easily recruiting for agitation and all manner of things. In the West, they are also used, they are Almajiris, they are area boys and they are easily recruiting and they are the ones that burnt Lagos because a hungry man is an angry man.
“All the good works the first set of youths did, they came up, swallowed it and destroyed them, and turned the story into a bad story.
“Nigeria is known outside as 419, corruption, and all that because the voice of these set of youths has swallowed the voice of young Nigerians, brilliant Nigerians we have all over the world. As a modern-day Joseph, I have two solutions to it and I am talking to all Nigerian youths that can take care of themselves.
“I am recommending a 10 percent budgetary allocation. Every Nigerian, save 10 percent of your income. If you are a businessman, if you are in the corporate world, save 10 percent of your income. Find three other young men that don’t have the privilege that you have. Invest it in them and move them up to your level. 70 percent of this work will be done by Nigerians themselves and not waiting for the government. Whatever any government does is like a drop of water in the ocean.
In a remark, the state governor David Umahi urged the participating youth to utilise the opportunity and explained that Southeast governors are not against any youth group in the zone. Umahi pledged his administration’s determination towards youth empowerment.
“We have made a modest effort in changing the narratives of our dear state through the provision of solid infrastructure, creation of a beautiful environment, and introduction of life-changing empowerment programs. We have opened up our rural communities and established socio-economic facilities that will boost the economic base of the state, create jobs for our people, and enhance self-reliance and self-sufficiency among our people.
“As part of our efforts to give meaning to the lives of all inhabitants of Ebonyi state, we have introduced #ENDSARS Empowerment Programme and have approved the sum of Three Billion Naira (N3,000,000,000.00) to inject in the empowerment of not less than 3000 Ebonyians, including youths and women.