Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Boni Haruna and Youth Development

Mr. Boni Haruna has been assigned the herculean task of managing the largest and most complex segment of the Nigerian population- the youths. Latest statistics show that youths occupy over seventy percent of the Nigerian population. As Minister of youth development, Mr. Boni Haruna is to promote and plan positive youth development including executing the federal government youth development programmes and projects.

The big question is, can Boni Haruna accomplish the task and replicate the remarkable achievement in youth development he had when he was Governor of Adamawa state? During his tenure as Governor and even afterwards, the strongest part of Boni’s support have been the youths. This is mainly due to the programmes and project he executed that changed the lives of many young people in Adamawa state. 

Boni Haruna understands the craft of governance, so, he would surely bring big and new ideas in implementing the mandate of the Federal Ministry of Youth Development- ‘to promote the physical, mental and socio-economic development of Nigerian youth through the advancement and protection of their rights within the Nigerian state, the promotion of their welfare and provision of opportunities for their self actualization and the introduction of policies and programmes entrenching such rights and responsibilities in all facets of public governance’.

There is no doubt youths in Nigeria are facing myriad of problems that cannot be solved in a short time, but the problem are not insurmountable. Boni Haruna is a person that understands and shares the Nigerian youth’s expectations from the government and the larger society. Boni will definitely bring a lot of changes in youth development, especially in the areas of education, sport, entrepreneurship, agriculture, and more importantly, the NYSC programme.

The Ministry of Youth Development is a special ministry, all other federal ministries need its input and it also needs support from other ministries. Boni is well-read and certainly understands inter-ministry synergy in the system of governance. He will collaborate with the Ministry of Education to recreate and rebuild the hitherto weak foundation for youth vocational and skill education. He will also bring new ideas and thinking into policy planning and effective management of the youth skill development.

Youth participation in agriculture is one of the key programmes of the Jonathan administration. Boni being the advocate of youth self reliance will also work on developing and redefining the implementation strategies for youth participation in agriculture in such a way that youths are made the central focus. This is because the agriculture sector is key to protecting the future of the Nigerian economy. And it is only by actively engaging the youths in the sector can this be achieved.

The NYSC is an important parastatal in the Federal Ministry of youth development. Boni being a man that understands the importance of the NYSC would definitely give the scheme all it requires to make it relevant in the 21st century. Under Boni’s leadership, we will certainly see an NYSC that is structured to current Nigerian and global realities.

Mr. Boni Haruna as minister of youth development will champion and marshal youth participation in the Nigerian economy and equip our youths with knowledge and skills to face emerging issues in the context of globalization.

Zayyad I. Muhammad, writes from Jimeta, Adamawa State, zaymohd@yahoo.com, 08036070980. 

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