By Juliet Isi Ikhayere
Firstly, let me begin by giving credit to the framers of this year’s International Youth Day 2022 Theme; Intergenerational solidarity; Creating a world for all ages.
This theme comes at no better time than this because of the duplicity and multiplicity of thoughts and ideas about who a youth is and what role they should ideally play in a fast-evolving global village, where globalization and modernization are the new order that every nation grapples with while fighting hard to maintain their identities.
While there seems to be a global demand for the deployment of the skill sets, intellect, and energy of the youth to the innovation and transformation our world is witnessing across its many strata, there are existential threats to the results this deployment could mean for many older generation folks who feel threatened and afraid of being retired to the backyard of history.
This threat is more pronounced in developing and underdeveloped nations; Africa most especially and other third world nations. For this singular reason, there seems to be an ongoing battle of the ages as the leaders struggle with how to utilize the skills and talent of youth who make up the larger population and contribute immensely to GDP growth, and how to place commensurate value on them thereby encouraging and unlocking more of their ingenuity for further development that will put their nations at per with their contemporaries the world over.
Despite these growing concerns, however, it is an incontestable fact that youths are the engine room of growth and development in any society. African and particularly Nigerian youths have continued to distinguish themselves by proving to the entire world that despite these various limitations, they remain undaunted and unstoppable, they continue to inspire hopes of a better future; one which cannot be deterred by any challenges, a forceful outburst of a stable, virile and egalitarian society.
Today as we celebrate our youthfulness and our strength, I congratulate myself and a hundred million others who have stepped out of the line, to take responsibility and contribute their quota to the emergence of this brand new era; an era of intergenerational solidarity, of creativity, of uniqueness and individuality for generality.
This year’s youth day celebration ought to evoke in us our purpose, power, and uniqueness in this present day and time. It is a time for introspection about how we can collectively take charge of our surroundings by showing great support to ourselves at the moment of good deeds. Not blindly, but with intentionality.
It is a very important time when youths from all over the country should begin to set laid down structures for which we can be a formidable force to repel all adversaries intended to bring us down.
A SORO SOKE (Speak up) generation where we will not promote divisions based on ethnicity, religion, or gender but team up to shun negative vices amongst ourselves. We have no choice but to have a united frontier, lest we give more chances to the enemies of youths to trample upon the few that will dare.
We should also not forget that the criteria for youth involvement in issues of politics should not be centered on how much money such a person has, as this is contrary to the principle of patience and systematic progress. Instead, let the basis for assessment be on past and present contributions to society, dexterity, creativity, empathy, flexibility to wise counsel, and more importantly, the courage to dare the impossible.
It is a reality that in the present-day youth demography, some are privileged to be wealthy, while some are not, some content with what they have but aspiring for more, yet this should not divide us or else we lose.
It is also said that some do not depend on the government to thrive, yes this is also true but that should not cause the abandonment of our collective strength. It will be unfair not to show solidarity to your fellow youths in thoughts or otherwise.
Lastly, it will be unfair and strange for ladies to single themselves out of the equation of youths. Rather, it is a call for a strong collaboration of women within the age bracket of youthfulness to embrace themselves, not be blind to the happenings of society, and be more informed as the wisdom and strength of youth are not judged by gender.
May our generation be known for a generation that SORO SOKE’D the truth, the collective dreams of us all, and the strength of our unity? Not daunted by hardship, not discouraged by the present times and reality, we will stand strong, side by side to weather the storm.
We will embrace our multicultural differences, our gender, and our religious differences to chart a good cause in history.
TOGETHER WE ARE BETTER AND WE ARE LOUDER.
NSA Inaugurates Ndiomu as Chairman of panel to probe oil theft
Abuja—The National Security Adviser (NSA), Major General Babagana Monguno (rtd), on Tuesday, inaugurated an 11-man special investigative panel to probe oil theft in the Niger Delta region of the country, Daily Trust reports.
The panel, comprised of retired top military brass and police officers as well as some administrators, has the Interim Administrator, Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Major General Barry Ndiomu, as its chairman and Mr. David Attah as Secretary.
Inaugurating the panel in Abuja, Monguno said that Nigeria was facing a monumental loss of revenue that ought to have accrued from the sale of crude oil.
He noted that pipeline vandalism and theft of crude oil had led to a significant decline in production.
Read also: Cash withdrawals limits: PoS operators get waiver
The Terms of Reference (ToRs), according to NSA, are to ascertain the circumstances surrounding the illegal insertion into the Trans-Escravos Pipeline (TEP) around Yokri area in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State
On his part, the Permanent Secretary, Special Services, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Aliyu Yerro, said the menace of crude oil theft had greatly impacted the nation’s revenue growth.
Senate seeks clarifications on new cash withdrawal policy, set to grill CBN chiefs
Abuja—The Senate will on Friday grill two deputy governors of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) over the cash withdrawal limit policy unveiled by the apex bank on Tuesday, according to the Punch newspaper.
The red chamber planned to seek clarifications on the new directive which restricts over-the-counter cash withdrawal by individuals and organisations to N100,000 and N500,000, respectively, per week.
It also limits cash withdrawals via point-of-sale machines and automated teller machines to N20,000 daily and N100,000 weekly, respectively.
According to a memo signed Tuesday by the CBN’s Director of Banking Supervision, Haruna Mustafa, withdrawals above the thresholds would attract processing fees of five per cent and 10 per cent, respectively, for individuals and corporate entities going forward.
In addition, third-party cheques above N50,000 shall not be eligible for OTC payment while extant limits of N10m on clearing cheques still remain.
The circular also directed banks to load only N200 and lower denominations into their ATMs and restricted withdrawal to N20, 000 per day from ATMs.
The policy which will become effective on January 9, 2023, had generated criticisms but the CBN clarified on Wednesday that PoS operators could apply for waivers.
Deliberating on the policy on the floor of the Senate on Wednesday, senators said there was a need to debate the policy on the floor of the red chamber.
However, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, directed the Senate Committee on Banking to grill the two re-appointed deputy governors of the CBN, Aisha Ahmad, and Edward Adamu, who will be screened on Friday, on the new cash withdrawal policy.
2022 Flooding: Bayelsa govt directs fresh distribution of items to communities, acknowledges donors
Yenagoa—Bayelsa State government has acknowledged donations from international agencies, state governments, political parties and their presidential candidates, individuals and corporate organisations in the wake of the 2022 flooding that ravaged the state.
Governor Douye Diri in his opening remarks at the weekly state executive council meeting in Government House, Yenagoa, on Wednesday disclosed that the government received donations in form of cash, foodstuff and other materials from well-meaningful individuals and corporate organisations during and after the floods.
According to a statement by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Alabrah, Diri restated his administration’s commitment to transparency and assured the people that they would not be left in the dark as regards the flood donations.
He listed the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, the Akwa Ibom and Lagos state governments, which donated N100m and N50m respectively, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar (N55m), and his counterpart in the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Adewole Adebayo (N10m) as some of the donors.
Other donors are Dr. Azibapu Eruani of the Azikel Group, who he said has started redeeming his pledge of N350million worth of items, and the Chief Executive Officer of the Century Energy Group, Chief Ken Etete (N50m).
The governor also disclosed that the South Korean Ambassador to Nigeria donated $100,000, Access Bank N100m, Zenith Bank N20m, Linkage Assurance N20m, Sterling Oil N15m, Paache Construction N10m and AITEO N50m.
According to Diri, organisations that donated items include the Tompolo Foundation 440 cartons of noodles, 595 bags of 50kg rice, 35 jerrycans of 25kg palm oil, groundnut oil 180 cartons, garri 40 50kg bags, beans 20 100kg bags as well as 500 tubers of yam.
Others are Globus Bank 70 bags of 50kg rice and 100 cartons of noodles, Stanbic Bank 146 4×6’ mattresses, 148 pillows and 150 plastic buckets.
The rest are Julius Berger 100 bags of 50kg rice, Redeemed Christian Church of God 100 bags of 50kg rice, Brass Petrochemical and Fertiliser Company 100 bags of 50kg rice, 100 bags of 50kg garri and 100 bags of 100kg beans.
Diri directed the task force on flood mitigation and management and the Bayelsa State Emergency Management Agency (BYSEMA) to immediately resume distribution of items in the warehouse to all affected communities in the state.
He also assured that the donations will be prudently used and urged people of the state to exercise patience with the process of distributing the relief materials to victims.
He further stated that the process will be devoid of political colouration.
His words: “We never played politics with the flood and the relief items for victims. The whole world saw it. Those who came to play politics, the whole world equally saw them.
“In all that we did, we never discriminated against any political party. And we commend particularly our people that bore the brunt of the flood.
“As a government, we will take decisions in the best interest of our people. Everything should not be politicised.“