Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has reiterated that youths' empowerment and women inclusion remains a top priority of his administration, promising to consolidate youth-focused programmes to accelerate sustainable growth and development in the state.
The Governor made this remark during a visit to the Government House on Saturday, by the Kwara representatives of the Nigerian Youth Parliament (NYP), 5th Assembly, seeking the collaboration of the young parliamentarians in fostering peace, growth and development among young people in Kwara.
The three-man delegation, including Adefila Ifeoluwa (Kwara South) and Abubakar Sadiq Buhari (Kwara North), was led by Ibraheem Abdullateef (Kwara Central) to the Government House.
AbdulRazaq, while congratulating the young parliamentarians on their inauguration, said his administration will continue to prioritise the welfare of all categories of youths in the state, to deepen participation and inclusion.
"We congratulate you on your appointment to represent Kwara State from each of the senatorial districts. From what we have heard so far, you are good ambassadors of the state. We want to strengthen the bond between the state and the Nigerian Youth Parliament so that there will be effective communication and feedback," the Governor said.
"You are a window to the youth who are the future. What I mean by communication and feedback is to know what the youths want and what direction they want us to go, and to be part of the decision-making process, bringing ideas on board to be able to shape the future.
"Your work is cut out for you. You need to do a lot of work, communicating to the youth as well in all spheres. Don't focus on one group or tertiary institutions alone. Your mandate is for youth nationwide. Make sure you engage with them and strive to get feedback.
"So, this is a very strong focus for us. We will not joke about youth and gender issues. Those are very strong points and that is why you need to engage with us. Our doors are open for you."
Speaking on behalf of the delegation, Abdullateef gave accounts of their activities since inauguration in advancing the agenda for youths inclusion in politics and leadership, an edge to end violence against persons, which is in line with the legislative agenda of the 5th Assembly.
"I thank you for nominating us as representatives of Kwara in the Nigerian Youth Parliament. Our mandate, back home, is to champion advocacy for the welfare and development of Kwara youths, and to provide leadership on youth development-related issues and policies of the government, to deepen participation and inclusion of young people," he said.
He stated the representatives will be pursuing projects, including #YesHarmony, a citizens-police initiative to deepen peace and security education among residents, to promote enterprise, capacity building, and improved security in the state.
He also sought the support of the governor on the ongoing advocacy by the 5th Parliament to Nigerian major political parties to reduce the nomination form fees for young aspirants below 35 years old.
Abdullateef, while commending AbdulRazaq for all the developmental programmes his administration activated, including engaging the youths in government, asked the Governor to sustain the tempo, with particular reference to Kwapreneurs to enhance sustainable youths' empowerment.