By Emmanuel Nduka
President Muhammadu Buhari has mandated his Chief of Staff, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, to ensure that all Government Ministries and Agencies include young people with the requisite skills and experience in all their Boards and Committees.
The directive was conveyed by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, in a statement he signed on Friday, titled ‘Ensure young people with requisite skills get board appointment, President Buhari directs SGF, chief of staff, ministers’.
President Buhari gave the assurance while receiving members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Youth Lobby Group at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
“I will also support the aspirations of credible and committed young people who are vying for positions in the upcoming convention.
“It is also in our interest to ensure the longevity of our party by standardizing and institutionalizing the leadership recruitment system. Hard working and exemplary individuals should be identified and encouraged and mentored.
“It should be a deliberate policy of the progressives in ensuring that we have a robust succession plan in place,” he said.
He further directed the SGF to submit a report on the inclusion of young people on boards and committees that are yet to be constituted, next month.
Buhari also asked his Chief of Staff and the SGF to ensure monthly engagements with the APC Youth Lobby group for better synergy and cross pollination of ideas and opportunities.
While urging senior government officials to explore the establishment of a Committee of young people to form the monitoring and evaluation team of ongoing Federal Government projects across the country, Buhari said the committee would provide feedback to enable his government to hold public officers to account.
The President welcomed the idea of the establishment of a Presidential Committee on Youth in liaison with the youth leader, requesting the SGF and the Chief of Staff to work out the modalities for its operationalisation.
Buhari also told the Ismaeel Ahmed-led APC Youth Lobby Group that the leadership of the party would ensure full participation of young people at all levels.
President Buhari declared that APC must be made attractive for younger people to continuously take ownership of it because that is the future, and “that is what progress means.”
He thus endorsed the 2021 APC Youth Conference Report presented to him, assuring the Group that the recommendations in the report that are within his own remit would be given favourable consideration.
Responding, the APC youth leader who described the President as the leader of the party and moral compass of the nation, thanked him for sending a powerful delegation to the Progressive Youth Conference in June 2021, “demonstrating that the present government believes in young people.”
He said: “Mr President, young people in Nigeria believe in your capacity and the history of your public service. You joined the Army at the age of 20, you joined the war to save the country at the age of 25, became a governor at the age of 33, minister at 36 and Head of State at 41.
“You joined politics at the age of 60 and was elected President at the age of 72. You have demonstrated through your personal example, the integrity that very few people have had the opportunity to demonstrate in the country.”