Lagos, Aug. 20, 2019
The European Union (EU) said it would continue to prioritize provision of opportunities for Nigerian youths in the areas of education, agriculture and human capital investment.
The Head of EU Delegation to Nigeria, Amb. Ketil Karlsen, said this at the “2019 International Youth Day” organised by the Junior Chamber Initiative (JCI) on Tuesday in Lagos.
“We put Africa, Nigeria especially, on top of our priority list in the area of education, job opportunities and human capital investment among the youths.
“We give support in the education system that will at the end of the day create an opportunity for the youths in the country.
“These opportunities include industries through agricultural development that will engage the youths at various regions of the country,’’ he said.
According to him, Nigeria did not deserve second best, it deserves to be on top of the best.
“And we should not look for a solution that is not related to education, technology and that does not include digital,’’ he said.
The EU envoy said that over 30 million people from age of five years to 40 years in the country lacked access to education.
Karlsen added that there was a challenge of inclusion and equitable access to education, where a teacher is assigned to teach about 200 students at a time in a classroom.
“So, as a youth, continue to dream and dream big and make sure Nigeria does not come second in all aspects with the technologies in place.
“But we need not leave anybody behind, irrespective of social fabrics,’’ Karlsen added.
In his remark, the Director, UN Information Centre in Nigeria, Mr Ronald Kayanja, said the Centre was engaging young people across the world, by ensuring that youths were carried along with developments in various countries.
“In Nigeria, the UN has 24 sub-agencies involved in education, children, woman, health and others to keep us accountable, participate, engage people and we want to do more,’’ he said.
The director said there was a need for advocacy to engage more youths in the area of economy, health, education and Information Communication and Technology (ICT).
In her remarks, the President, JCI Nigeria, Adetola Juyitan, said the group was working on educational transformation initiative to make global education entirely inclusive and accessible for everyone, regardless of their background or where they reside.
According to him, illiteracy ranks as one of the biggest menaces in 2019 in the country.
“This, therefore, implies that the educational space in our country needs a high level of transformation.