An international NGO, ActionAid Nigeria has urged youths in the country to embrace agriculture in other to check the growing unemployment rate and reduce the spate of violent extremism in the country.
Project Officer with ActionAid Nigeria, Mr Friday Ogezi, made the call on Saturday at the 2021 Youth Summit on Preventing Violent Extremism in Kogi State at Abache and Emekutu in Ankpa Local Government.
Ogezi said the summit was in commemoration of the 2021 International Youth Day themed: Transforming Food System: Youth Innovation in Peace Building Through Climate Change Mitigation.
The summit was organised by ActionAid in collaboration with Participation Initiative for Behavioural Change In Development (PIBCID) with funding from Global Community Engagement Resilience Fund (GCERF).
The Project Officer said the way forward for the country and the world today remained Agriculture and charged youths to play prominent roles in the evolving practice of Agriculture as a Business through their involvement.
The state Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Idris Musa (alias Oando), charged Nigerian youths to take their destinies into their hands and work patiently towards achieving them through legitimate and lawful means.
He urged youths to reduce their reliance on the government for the provision of employment as over dependence on the prevailing circumstances in the country would only result in frustrations.
He opined that for youths to excel, they must have the fear of God and utmost respect for their parents adding that they must be creative, learn skills and embark on fruitful ventures including farming activities.
Vice-Chairman, Ankpa Local Government Council Mrs Martha Moses, in her remarks charged youths to build and prepare themselves for leadership positions.
She charged them to be focused, firm, diligent and committed in their endeavours rather than making themselves willing tools in the hands of dubious persons to perpetrate electoral violence and other forms of fraudulent practices.
She particularly urged female youths to strive to acquire skills and pursue education to have a sustainable livelihood and advised them against illicit and unholy affairs saying, “If you rubbish yourself, you will be rubbished.”
Coordinator of National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) Ankpa Local Government Mallam Suleiman Yakubu, urged youths to key into the IYD theme for 2021 and embrace agriculture especially tree planting and afforestation for their economic benefits.
He decried the deforestation and abandonment of agricultural activities by the youths and enjoined them to embrace agriculture saying that the practice had transcended the subsistence level to lucrative agribusiness platforms.
The summit also featured a presentation by Mr Emmanuel Ocheje, an Agricultural Economist on Youth Involvement in Ecosystem Protection and Involvement in Food System and Market Development.
NAN further reports that the Youth Summit simultaneously took in all the 12 System and Structure Strengthening Approach to Radicalisation to Violent Extremism (SARVE) II ActionAid project communities in six Local Government Areas of the State
The communities include Ujagba, Ugbedomagwu, Tajimi, Ette, Koton-Karfe, Osisi, Osaragada/Aku, Inata, Ukowa, Emekutu and Abache, in Igalamela-Odolu, Lokoja, Adavi, Okehi, Kogi-Koto and Ankpa LGAs.