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NOA accuses young people of peaceful coexistence

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NOA accuses young people of peaceful coexistence

By Ugonne Uzoma

The National Guidance Agency (NOA) urged young Nigerians to imbibe the values ​​of peaceful existence, quality character and an interest in governance by actively participating in politics.

Ms. Ngozi Ekeoba, director of NOA in Imo, said this at a one-day youth summit on “Youth participation in national development”, held in Owerri on Thursday.

Ekeoba said the summit aimed to engage with young people to make them understand their role in national development.

She said the agency had engaged Nigerian youth in higher education institutions across the country through a comprehensive values ​​reorientation program called “Campus Focus”.

Ekeoba said it was designed to tackle vices such as brutality, cybercrime, sects, drug addiction, armed robbery and gender-based violence and other crimes that exist in institutions.

“The summit is a continuation of our engagements with the youth of Imo and a way to involve them who may have been left out in the campus orientation programs, to take their rightful place in political life and contribute their quota to national development, ”she said. mentionned.

Ekeoba described young people as an indispensable critical mass and the most energetic, resourceful and productive segment of the country’s population and the key to national development.

“Nigeria today faces various insecurity challenges that undermine our national development; these challenges that we must understand are defended by the youth of the country.

“It is therefore imperative that our young people are constantly engaged to understand their difficulties and ensure that they understand and actively participate in government programs and policies, because every Nigerian has a role to play in national development,” he said. she declared.

Ekeoba called on the youth of Imo to channel their knowledge, energies, ingenuity and creativity to make the state the “Heart of the East” and Nigeria the “Giant of Africa”.

She urged young people to speak out and embrace peace and dialogue to resolve grievances they may have at any time and participate in electoral processes.

According to her, young people have no moral justification for complaining about their elected officials if they do not participate in the elections.

Ekeoba therefore urged them to take the opportunity of the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise and register, as well as provide constructive nation-building suggestions and critiques that would be passed on. to the government.

Mr. Iya Ikongbe, a senior Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) official who spoke about “empowering youth in lending and how to access lending,” said the CBN had a program known as Agricultural Business Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise Investment Program (ABSMEIS) through which loans were made to people.

Ikongbe said other loan programs included the Creative Industry Funding Initiative, for musicians; ICT, filmmakers and software development for students as well as the health sector subsidy, adding that their interest rates were minimal.

He identified the company eligible for ABSMEIS loans to include the entire agricultural value chain, manufacturers of paints and drugs, fashion and design, and the creative industry.

Dr Jude Ohanele, founder of Development Dynamics, a non-governmental organization, said the country’s problem is human and called on young people to end violence and embrace hard work, discipline and integrity.

“We have to change the story. The country needs people with a leader-servant mentality that demands that you achieve core values ​​of vision, focus, humility, integrity and sincerity and improving the nutritional value of children for development. mental.

“Young people should be part of the solutions to the Nigerian problem and contribute to national development while being critical thinkers,” he said.

The participants commended the NOA for the program and called on it to strengthen its offices in local government areas for more efficiency.

Regarding the CBN loan, they said they had made the necessary protocol for the loan to be disbursed, but to no avail and asked the umbrella bank to ensure rapid disbursement of the loans.

Mr. Chukwuemeka Isidore, former chairman of the Nigeria National Youth Council, described the program as a welcome development that should be supported.

Isidore urged the NOA to step up its activities in communities and return to the drawing board by rekindling its orientation culture at all levels for appropriate feedback.

Isidore also called on the CBN to streamline business loan repayment methods to achieve the necessary impact. (NAA)

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