By: Ahmed Mohammed Sule
While she awaits confirmation by Distinguished Members of the 10th Senate of the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the appointment of Dr. Jamila Bio Ibrahim by His Excellency, Ahmed Bola Tinubu, GCFR, President and Commander-In-Chief, Federal Republic of Nigeria as a Minister of the Federal Republic and consequent conferment of the portfolio of the Honourable Minister and Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Ministry of Youth, is undoubtedly a well-deserved development.
This has been what the Nigerian youth have long been yearning for – that of having one of their own – A Vibrant Youth! – The like of Dr. Jamila Bio Ibrahim as the Minister of Youth. Now they have it.
At age 37 and a medical doctor with Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS), all obtained from the University of Ilorin. She then proceeded to University of Washington, USA where she did a Course Program on Health Management and Leadership.
Thereafter, she established her NGO called Yon Seno Foundation.
In recognition of her pedigree and commitment to national growth and development, Dr. Jamila was appointed into the membership of the Think Tank of the National Policy Summit in 2017. She also served as a Volunteered member of the Presidential Committee on North East Initiative (PCNI) on humanitarian intervention and Transformational Development of the region.
Furtherance to the service of her home state, Dr. Jamila served as the Secretary of the Sub Committee on Health, Women Affairs, Population and Environment of the Transition Committee of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazak of Kwara state in 2019.
The Governor thereafter, appointed her as his Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on SDGs and became the Kwara state Focal person for National Human Capital Development Program and the African Union Development Agency-New Partnership for Africa’s Development (AUDA-NEPAD).
As a continuation of her service to the country, she became the National Vice President of the All Progressive Congress (APC) Young Women Forum (APC-PYWF) in 2021. Ahead of 2023 elections, she was appointed Member of the APC Presidential Campaign Committee on Sustainable Development.
With lots of experience gathered in social and development service matters for humanity and as a vibrant youth with focus to duty and commitment to serve Nigeria, Dr. Jamila no doubt fits in most appropriately as the Nigerian Minister of youth that the country looks forward to having at this point in time.
The Minister nominee is coming on board when the National Youth Policy document 2019 – 2023 is in its last lap of implementation. Already, a 27-Member Committee was set up and inaugurated in July to review the National Youth Policy. It is expected to have a reviewed and updated document of the National Youth Policy by February, 2024. The essence of the National Youth Policy is for the country to have a befitting and comprehensive document that will serve as a guide for developing the nation’s teeming youth.
It is also a policy document of government which serves as a roadmap of how government intends to pursue its goal, vision, mission and mandate in the growth and development of the Nigerian youth into better citizens of the country with that zeal of patriotism in them to in turn, contribute meaningfully and positively to the growth and development of the country.
When approved and adopted as the National Youth Policy document in 2024, It is expected to run from 2024 to 2029 before it is due for another review, that is after the statutory period of 5 years of implementation as a working document of the Ministry.
But while the process is ongoing, the 2019 – 2023 National Youth Policy still suffices as the working document for the incoming Minister to use as her reference point in carrying out the Renewed Hope Agenda of the President Tinubu’s administration for the Nigerian youth.
The administration of President Bola Tinubu has put the issue of youth development and prosperity in the front burner of his policy agenda, especially, that of empowering the youth economically to own and run small and medium scale enterprises, promising to make loans at very low interest rates available accessible for them.
He also stated the commitment of his government to creating meaningful opportunities for the Nigerian youth in job creation, education and skills development, digital innovation and technology, financial support, inclusive participation in governance, all as part of the reforms the president envisages to make the Nigerian youth productive, useful, responsible, self-reliant and a great contributor to the socio-economic growth and development of the country.
So, the expectations are high and the demands are enormous by the Nigerian youth from the Youth Ministry, which Dr. Jamila is bracingly prepared to handle and deliver excellently well. This is because her past records of national activities and engagements are all testimonies to her capability and capacity to deliver well and good on her mandate.
The Nigerian youth plays key role in the National Development of the country. Dr. Jamila’s tenure at the ministry will bring on board a very pragmatic approach that spells out a clear policy framework that will ensure the enabling environment for the youth to maximally realize their creative and productive potentials which will in turn enable them contribute meaningfully to the growth and development of the country.
It is a known fact that the youth of this country are grappling with series of challenges hindering them to explore their optimal potentials. The incoming Minister is quite aware of this and ready with the best of strategies to mainstream youth concerns into national development efforts, giving them priority attention as a show of commitment to human capital development with special emphasis on the nation’s vibrant youth.
Addressing the fear by the Nigerian youth of outright neglect and marginalization will be paramount and a cardinal principle of Dr. Jamila through the advancement of their welfare, making it possible for them to access all available avenues and opportunities to achieve self-actualization in participatory process of the socio economic development of Nigeria.
Having fully understood that the nation’s human capital resources lies in its large youth population, capacity development and youth empowerment initiatives will be the hallmark of her administration in ensuring that the Nigerian youth is skillfully empowered and made self-reliant as well as being socially responsible citizens.
The Minister nominee has the hindsight of the provision of a sustainable framework for integrated development of policies and programs that are geared towards enhancing and promoting the development of the Nigerian youth via the following enumerated policy guidelines of her administrative acumen; youth inclusiveness in policy and decision making as well as accessibility to information on Government’s policies, programs and activities so they can rightly key into them.
In realization of government’s lean financial resources and desirous of cooperation from related development bodies, the involvement of key players and critical stakeholders as partners in youth development matters will be leveraged on to include; the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), the Organized Private Sector (OPS), Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and International Agencies as partners and donors.
The minister’s policy thrusts will be hinged on the desire to empower the youth to actualized their potentials and take advantage of the opportunities available to make positive contributions to the well-being of their communities across the country.
Having also the policy vision to develop the Nigeria youth with equal opportunities to realize their dreams and aspirations, irrespective of their background and living in a safe and secure environment that would optimize their contributions to National Development.
In pursuit of a policy mission that will provide stakeholders in youth development an all-inclusive framework that will ensure the realization of the full potentials of all Nigerian young men and women irrespective of their ethnic, religious, and socio-economic background.
With the policy goal of providing an appropriate framework that protects the fundamental human rights of all youth, promote their optimal development and well-being, and enhance their participation in every aspect of national growth, advancement and development.
Key focus for achieving a wholistic national youth development agenda will be; a productive workforce and sustainable economic engagement of youth, a healthy and health-promoting lifestyle, participation, inclusiveness and equitable opportunities for all youth, partnership-building and effective collaboration:
Youth development is a cross-cutting national agenda, as such, the implementation of the policy agenda of the government will leverage on and involve all development partners, particularly on national and international adopted agreements and treaties on youth development matters that conform with our national aspirations viz-a-viz: The Charter of the United Nations; The United Nations World Programme of Action for Youth; The National Council on Youth Development The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); The ECOWAS Commission Youth Policy; The African Youth Charter; The Commonwealth Youth Charter; The Charter of the United Nations and The United Nations World Programme of Action for Youth. All of which will be guiding principles for the national actions on youth development.
– AHMED MOHAMMED SULE, mnipr, mitpn wrote in from Abuja.