….Call for Review of Nigerian Federal Structure
A non-profit group, the Young Progressive Nigerians Initiative (YPNI) has described vocational skills and entrepreneurship as one of the major solutions to unemployment and poverty in the nation of Nigeria.
Speaking with news men after the end of its annual general meeting recently held in Lagos, the group Convener, Adekunle Osibogun said its organization, which recently trained over 500 youths in Ogun State on various vocational skills, is focused on promoting entrepreneurship and patriotism among young Nigerians.
The organization with members drawn from professions such as journalism, banking, law, information technology and medicine also deliberated on several national quagmires confronting the nation such as restructuring and national unity, unemployment and entrepreneurship, insecurity and youths participation in governance, posited a need to evaluate our current political and economic structures and determine whether Nigerian should adopt a federal or unitary system of government, because our current hybrid system appears to be failing, with apparent signs of increased poverty, disunity, under-development, insecurity and expansion of monopolistic tendencies against the equilibrium distribution of wealth of the nation.
“We call on the National Assembly and the 36 State Houses of Assembly to incorporate in the current constitutional amendment process, the transfer of items 8 (census), 28 (Fingerprint identification and criminal records), 34 (labour), 39 (Mines and Minerals Resources), 45 (police and other government security agencies established by law), 46 (posts, telegraphs and telephones), 48 (prisons), 54 (quarantine), 59 (taxation of incomes, profits and capital gains), 62 (trade and commerce) of the 2nd Schedule (legislative powers) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) from the Exclusive Legislative list to the Concurrent Legislative list” The group said.
Speaking more on the federal structure of Nigeria, Osibogun said “Today, the unity of our nation is fragile, with youths from different corridors of our nation voicing their disbelief in a future with a united Nigeria, it therefore behoves on our leaders to convince our youths that we are better together than apart, becauseour generation is one that will only be swayed by sound arguments and not sentimental dictates. We believe an ideal starting point should be an evaluation of our malfunctioning political and economic structures which have continued to breed disunity and under-development in our country.”
YPNI also called for the transfer of sections 16, 17 and 18of the Constitution (as amended) from Chapter 2 (Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy) to Chapter 4 (Fundamental Human Rights), in order to empower the citizenry with the right to demand for certain agreed basic parameters in the economic, social and educational sectors from any government entrusted with these responsibilities.
On the issue of insecurity, all members of YPNI unanimously called on the federal government to look into the increase in terrorist activities by insurgency group, especially in north-east states, and the frequent clashes between herdsmen and farmers in the north-central and southern states, which they said may become a threat to food security in the country.
The group also called for reforms in the policing structure of the country to create a more professional and independent police force and allow States within the federation share the responsibility of policing and securing their territories with the federal government.
Osibogun said “it is important to create an independent body that is empowered to investigate and discipline erring police officers, because this will improve confidence in the police force and promote professionalism amongst the officers”
Charging all youths from 18 and above to register to vote and actively participate in the political process, the group head of planning, Mammud Yusuf said that it is time for our young men and women embedded with skills and managerial acumen to take over the baton of leadership from those who have been in the saddle of governance in Nigeria since the first republic.
“Governance in 21st century should be saddled with those that understand the language of the 21st century. Governance needs characters embedded with a lot of energy, zeal, strength, exposure, education, innovation, creativity and sincerity of purpose which could only be found with people rooted and grounded with the realities of 21st century.
“Therefore, we believe that it is time for the youths of Nigeria to wake up from their slumber and take over the affairs of the country from our fathers that have been recycling powers within themselves since the first republic.
“We call on young Nigerians to participate in politics, register to vote and be voted for and also stand for elections. France just elected Emmanuel Macron aged 39, Emil Dimitrev who is the Prime Minister of Macedonia is 39 years, Emir of Qatar, Tamim Ah Tani is 37 years, President of San Marino, VanesaD’Ambrisio is 29 years, Saleh Al-sammad was recently elected President of Yemen at age of 38 years, therefore, why are Nigerian Youths missing in governance?” he said.
Reinstating the position of the group on panacea to unemployment in Nigeria, Osibogun opined that instead of competing for limited white-collar jobs available in the country, youths should embrace entrepreneurship and vocational skills as an alternative medium to make a living, stressing that our current political and economic structure will not permit any government provide adequate jobs for the citizenry.
“While we implore governments at all tiers to tame the surge of unemployment and joblessness in the country, however, as an organization that believes in entrepreneurship and skills acquisition, especially having trained and still training young Nigerians on entrepreneurship and vocational skills, we call on our peers to learn a skill today as a medium to making a living instead of looking for white collar jobs that are not available.”
YPNI also announced that the second batch of training on entrepreneurship for unemployed youths shall be commencing in second week of October. The training, according to the communication manager of the group, Mr. Maxwell Adeyemi Adeleye, will offer our youths access to acquisition of various skills such as beads and craft making, events planning and decoration, fashion design, catering services and shoe making.
Photo caption: Members of YPNI in a group photograph after their annual general meeting held recently in Lagos.