Nigerian govts must invest in children, youths for a better tomorrow – Prof. Abhuere

Prof. Abhuere, giving out certificate of participation to staff and pupils of Gifted Huniral Memorial Schoo

The founder and chief executive officer of Centre for Childcare and Youth Development (CCYD), Lugbe, Abuja, Prof. John Abhuere, has called on Nigerian governments at all levels to invest in the youth for a better future.

Prof. Abhuere, who made this call while marking this year’s “The International Day of Education and World Day for African and Afro-Descendant Culture,” on Tuesday, in Abuja, said any nation that wanted to build a better future must of necessity invest in children and the youth.

He appealed to the federal government, states and local governments, NGOs, corporate bodies and individuals to invest in children to create a secure society.

The United Nations set aside January 24 every year in celebration of the role of education for peace and development.

The theme for this year’s celebration, “To Invest in People, Prioritise Education,” according to Prof. Abhuere, was apt and appropriate, considering the fact that the importance of education could not be overemphasised.

Abhuere stated that children were the hope of changing the narrative of the country for better, hence toying with their future was a recipe for disaster.

Abhuere, a retired director with the National Youths Service Corps (NYSC), recalled that he decided to open the centre when he saw that many children were not in school, those in school were not passing their examination and waywardness was taking over every child.

He said in an attempt to remedy the situation, he decided to establish the centre to act as a short gap where children and the youth population could upgrade themselves and acquire one skill or another.

According to him, the centre was established to add values to education, values to the survival of the nation and values to the overall well-being of the society, adding “we did what we did for children to be more ambitious for a better tomorrow.”

“We are now in a new dispensation, we call government to invest in youths, children who are the hope of the future. We can’t continue to live in self-denial, we must invest more in youths’ development,” he noted.

He asserted that crime and insecurity would be reduced when youth were taken off the streets.

The programme officer of the centre, Happiness Ekele Chiamaka, in her speech, said the theme for this year’s celebration was a clarion call for maintaining strong mobilisation around education and chart the way to translate commitments and global initiatives into action.

“Education must be prioritised to accelerate progress towards all Sustainable Development Goals while the World Day for African and Afro-Descendant Culture was established by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in 2019 and held every year on 24th January. This aims to celebrate the vibrant culture of the African continent and African diasporas around the world.

“As a rich source of world’s shared heritage, promoting African and afro descendant culture is crucial for the development of the continent and humanity as a whole. As we have gathered here today to celebrate with the world, let us join hands to promote education and protect our culture from going into extinction,” she said.

To mark the day, pupils from Gifted Hunira Memorial Academy, Glorious Academy and CCYD, all in Lugbe, put up cultural displays, quiz competition and recitations.

The winners were awarded gifts and certificates of participation were given to the participatory schools.

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