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How young people can influence public policies, political process: CPS Ajakaye

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The Chief Press Secretary to the Kwara State Governor Mallam Rafiu Ajakaye on Tuesday charged the youths to continue to leverage their huge population and power of the new media to constructively engage governments and negotiate for quality representation, among other legitimate demands.

He said it is not enough for young persons to agitate for right leadership and good governance in the country without participating actively in the processes that produce their representatives across the board.

Ajakaye spoke in Ilorin at the 24th Inauguration Ceremony and Launch of “The HERO Magazine”, produced by the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Kwara State axis. The publication was dedicated to the Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, highlighting some of the sectoral achievements of the administration.

“Youths in this country need to marry their ownership of the new media space with a strong presence in the ‘real world’ of participatory politics and mass engagement. If you want to see persons who understand your positions in government offices, you need to be in the room where delegates for shadow elections are chosen. You need to ensure that candidates standing in an election emerge from a process that you took part in,” he said.

“You cannot complain that political parties presented ‘never-do-wells’ as their candidates, thereby limiting your choices at the general election, when you stay away from the process that produces them.

“Statista puts the average age of the Nigerian person at 18.6. What this means is that half of Nigeria’s over 200m people are below age 18, while all persons above that age constitute the second half. If you remove persons between 15 and 29 who are mostly students in various areas of studies from the second half, what you have left is a negligible minority in terms of demography.”

The CPS, whose lecture was themed ‘Bridging the gap between the students and government: the future of the Nigerian Youths, Opportunities and Challenges’, noted that there is hardly a gap to bridge between the youth and government, considering the size of young persons and students that are now involved in different positions of authority nationwide.

“I do not believe there is really a gap to bridge between the students, or the youths, and governments at any level in Nigeria. Not only are students properly constituted as a power bloc in the various student movements nationwide, different governments have also established the office of the Special Assistant on Student Affairs that is a go-between for the two power centers. In many cases, there is either an office of the Special Adviser or a standalone Ministry on Youth Development,” he said.

“But what I think is open to question is how much the intimidating size of this demography (students and young people) has really shaped governance, public policy, and allocation of public resources. While things are empirically changing for the better, with Kwara under His Excellency Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq as a positive reference point in his unprecedented support for young people, a lot can still be done in a way that benefits not just young people but will also create the right environment for equitable access to good education, upward (social) mobility, economic growth and sustainable development.”

He said the growing population of young people is both an opportunity and a threat, requesting them to leverage their different organizational bodies to advocate sustainable solutions to the crisis of (poor) education, lack of job, extreme poverty, and hunger in the land.

The event was well attended by the State Commissioner for Tertiary Education Dr Mrs Mary Arinde; Commissioner for Youth Development Hon. Nafisat Buge; Special Assistant to the Governor on Students Affairs Comrade Wasiu Onidugbe; Rector, Kwara State Polytechnic Dr. Jimoh Abdul; Senator Khairat AbdulRazaq who was represented by Prof Saudat AbdulBaqi; leaders of various students’ unions; and dozens of students.

Arinde and Buge, in their separate remarks, said the administration is walking the talk by putting high premium on the welfare of students and trusting the young persons with leadership positions.

Buge appreciated the leadership of NANS in the state for documenting some of the achievements of the present administration for future references.

Onidugbe, for his part, said the honour done to Governor AbdulRazaq by NANS serves as another good testimony that their interest is well represented, adding that the recent payment of bursary to students by government is a typical example.

He said the administration will continue to prioritize the students’ welfare in the state.

Senator AbdulRazaq, in her remarks, tasked the students to accord their study a priority and commended them for their decent play of students’ unionism.

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Kwara Govt Holds Inter-Ministerial Press Briefing on Monday

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As part of efforts to keep Kwarans and the world informed about the activities of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq’s administration during his first year in his second term in office, the Kwara State Government has announced an Inter-Ministerial Press Briefing.

This was contained in a statement released earlier today by the State Commissioner for Communications, Hon. Bolanle Olukoju.

According to the statement, the briefing will feature all Commissioners in the State providing updates on their ministries over the past year.

“The Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq’s administration has achieved a great deal in the first year of his second term, and while these accomplishments have been discussed in various forums, this briefing will have all commissioners speaking to the press simultaneously,” the statement reads.

The statement further disclosed that the briefing will take place at the Ministry of Communications Conference Room at 10 am on Monday, 20th May 2024, and will be streamed live on the Ministry’s Facebook page.

“We encourage all kwarans to tune in to the live stream and participate in this informative session. The administration remains committed to transparency, accountability, and continuous engagement with the people of Kwara State,” the statement added.

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2024 Hajj: Stakeholders Salute Gov AbdulRazaq, Oloriegbe’s Leadership As Kwara Sets For Inaugural Flight

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Stakeholders involved in the 2024 Hajj operation in Kwara State have commended Senator Ibrahim Yahaya Oloriegbe for his exceptional leadership and competence in handling tasks since his appointment as the Kwara Contingent Leader (Amirul-Hajj).

The commendations were made today during the 2nd Hajj Operation Stakeholders Meeting organised by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) at the General Tunde Idiagbon International Airport, Ilorin, where stakeholders discussed issues related to the smooth operation of the upcoming Hajj exercise.

The meeting was attended by the NAHCON Zonal Chairman, Alh. Afolabi Fijabi; the Airport Manager, Mrs. Yemisi Adebiyi; members of the Kwara State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, led by its Chairman, Prof. Mashood Mahmud Jimba; representatives from various security agencies, among others.

While giving briefings on their readiness for the first flight on the 20th of May, 2024, when the first batch of the contingents would be airlifted to Saudi Arabia, they highlighted the significant interventions of Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq through Oloriegbe to ensure a hitch-free exercise for Kwara Contingents.

Oloriegbe in his remarks, also acknowledged the support of Governor Abdulrazaq to ease the task and appealed for further cooperation, understanding, and unity among all stakeholders to ensure a successful operation. He also took a tour of the facilities at the airport and the State Hajj Camp to assess their conditions ahead of the usage and, visited the Pilgrims Welfare Board Office at Gerewu Area of Ilorin to oversee the ongoing pilgrims’ vaccination program and other activities.

The erstwhile lawmaker, however, urged prospective pilgrims to remain cooperative and coordinated in their engagements with the Board’s staff to avoid any issues that could delay the smoothness of the exercises.

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Lagos Assembly Plans Geographic Information Law

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  • bill will create comprehensive database of Lagos state
  • will curb issues involved in land ownership

A new bill that seeks to harmonise all geographic information service projects of Lagos is under consideration at the State House of Assembly.

The Lagos Geographic Information Service bill, which had stakeholders making contributions on Friday, is also aimed at establishing a computerised central database for all information relating to geospatial matters and related issues.

Section 4(2) of the bill says the agency’s responsibilities include introducing, implementing and sustaining best practices for all Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in the state as well as “develop and maintain an online platform that will contain all information and statistics on geospatial-related matters.”

Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, said the bill, when passed, would help in improving governance and boosting professionalism.

“It is targeted at integrating governance with advancements in technology. This is something we hope to always take advantage of so that our state can continue to be ahead in the area of development,” Dr. Obasa, represented by Hon. Stephen Ogundipe, a member of the House, said adding that the Assembly will always make the residents of the state its focal point.

Chairman of the House Committee on Physical Planning and Urban Development, Hon. Ogunkelu Sylvester, said the bill “shows a commitment and sincere
sense of duty on the part of the legislators of the state to put people’s interest at heart.

“Today’s public hearing means a lot to the improvement of
information technology and computerised central database in Lagos State.”

Ogunkelu, who represents Epe Constituency 2 at the House, described it as a bill that will cover the database of Lagos just as he commended the Speaker for his passion for the progress of the State.

“The bill will guide the government to have a database of everything concerning Lagos and in this case, you could be in your house and apply for a certificate of ownership on your property and have it without even visiting the Ministry.

“It will also cut sharp practices and curb fraudulent sales of land. For land, the database will have details of owners including their photographs,” he said.

Rasheed Makinde, a former lawmaker, commended the House for its proactiveness while some of the stakeholders suggested the involvement of professional bodies in the proposed law.

Eromosele Ebhomele
Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly.

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