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Commonwealth nations pick Nigeria for Youth Council Secretariat establishment

By Esther Kalu

Nigeria has been selected to host the Commonwealth Youth Secretariat in response to a request by a member state on the need to have an administrative infrastructure that would address the needs of young people.

The proposed secretariat was said to have been necessitated by the need to address administrative challenges of youths across member nations of the Common Wealth meeting.

Making the announcement on Thursday, Rwanda, the Commonwealth Youth Ministerial Task Force, Sarah Mateke, said Nigeria had been chosen to host the secretariat.

Mateke, who is also Minister of State for Youth and Children Affairs, Uganda, said terms of reference would be stated soon to guide the secretariat.

On his part, the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, indicated Nigeria’s interest to host the Secretariat in response to a request by a member on the need to have an administrative infrastructure for young people.

Dare said that the CYC would connect easily with the youth programmes in the country, in the event of the establishment of its secretariat in Nigeria.

According to him, with about 1.5 billion youths from the Commonwealth, it is important that they have an administrative office where they can coordinate.

“Looking at the size of the youth population in Nigeria, which is about 150 million and also at the youth programs, like the N-Power and the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).

“ There’s also the Nigeria Youth Investment Fund (NYIF) which aims to finically empower Nigeria’s youth to generate at least 500,000 jobs between 2020 and 2023. I feel Nigeria will be a good place to host the CYC.

The minister said that the Council can connect to the programmes in Nigeria, other countries can learn from that and also bring some models from other countries.

Her further stated that Nigeria has always been a hub when it comes to youth development, given the size of the youths and that their innovative minds and more, it would be great to have the CYC secretariat in Nigeria.

Earlier, Commonwealth Youth Council (CYC) Vice-Chairman Partnerships and Resources, Everton Rattary, was said to have appealed to member-nations to host the council secretariat, adding it would aid in executing the CYC’s projects.

“The mandate of the organisation is carried out through its administration. The execution of our projects will only be possible if we have the infrastructure in place and it will be the starting point for people to help us re-establish it.

“So literally, if we don’t have a secretariat, it’s almost as though we are making plans, with no intention of execution ,” he said.

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