By Gbenga Adeniyi
Youths of the Western Nigeria have insisted on the pursuance of restructuring of the current federal arrangement which would give birth to a hub for tourism and agricultural competitiveness, an educated workforce, a technologically developed urban centres, a peaceful, secured and a less dependent on oil region.
These were the resolutions in a communiqué after a two-day Regional Youth Summit of the Western Nigeria, with a theme: “PRODUCTIVITY, PROSPERITY AND PEACE held in Osogbo on Wednesday.
According to the youths, from history, the golden era of the region was in the era of regional governments, saying that there should be reversion to a system of federalism based on regionalism.
They affirmed their believe in one united Nigeria based on fairness, equity and strict adherence to the doctrine of federalism, separation of powers and rule of law, saying there was the need to enshrine in the Federal constitution a role for plebiscites or referendums on certain issues of public importance.
The communiqué further noted that youths in the Western region should be encouraged to participate in political governance at both the legislative and executive levels, saying the ‘Not Too Young To Run’ proposal should be properly institutionalised at both federal and state elections.
On security, while condemning the incessant herdsmen attacks on innocent people across the country, they appealed to the federal government to act as a matter of urgency to avert massive reprisal attacks.
They also called for the enactment of anti-open grazing laws throughout the country, while commercially driven ranches be established.
The communiqué further stressed that joint actions would be pursued and sustained on security threats to guarantee the safety of lives, property and prosperity of the people of the region.
On Entrepreneurial Development, the youths advocated that support and policies in Business Development and Entrepreneurial skill Development, as well as Financial Literacy Training should be deployed in states of the region to tackle poor entrepreneurial skills and financial illiteracy.
They also called for the institutionalisation “of legal and regulatory frameworks to harmonise and simplify the regime of taxes and levies, while state governments should make public their services, procedures, cost and redress mechanism to encourage payment of taxes to lessen reliance on federal allocation”.
“The creative economy and informal economy (film, music, fashion, food, photography etc) should be properly structured to stimulate creativity and economic growth.
“Enablers should be put in place so that agriculture value chain can be optimised for youth participation.
On education, they resolved that the ultimate goal of education should essentially be to produce the quintessential Omoluabi, both in content and character, saying, “Our education should bring enlightenment to the human mind; prepare people for the world of work; provide the platform for leadership recruitment and provide the means for character building, especially the development of the Total Man”.
The participants then agreed that the 25-year master plan as conceived by the Governments of the Western Nigeria is a step in the right direction, saying, “to articulate the shared values and aspirations of the Region in a living document and translating such to implementable actions and interventions will definitely make Western Nigeria a most preferred place to live, to work and to invest in the near future”.