Mr Sterling Tilley, Cultural Affairs Officer of the U.S Embassy says Nigeria remains country of focus for the United States in ensuring youth development across Africa. Tilley disclosed this in Abuja at the youth Leadership Assembly organised by the Nigerian branch of the Mandela Washington Fellowship Alumni Association.
He said the United States would continue to support programs that empowers young African because they remained the future of the region. “We are impressed with what the the Alumni Association is doing by investing in young Nigerians and that is why we are here.
“The youths need to find opportunity in the challenges they face in life and they should be the ones to provide the solution to the challenges, ” he said. He said that the U. S support for the Young African Leadership Initiative was to help build the leaders that would develop Nigeria and Africa at large.
He urged the participants on the Beyond School community challenges (BSCC) to put in their best as it was an honour to qualify for the competition. In his remarks, Dr Segun Fatundimu, president of the Alumni association said it was unfortunate that Nigerian and African youths in general are seen as unserious people that have nothing to offer to the society.
” This is not true, we need to send the right message. our aim of organising this program is to bring youths together to solve problems in our society.he said. He noted that it was unfortunate that Nigeria as a nation had no vision that could drive the youths to bring out the best in them. What we see in the country is divergence instead of convergence and that is affecting the youths, ” he added.
He urged the youths to shone ethnic, religion and tribal difference and work together to build a stronger nation. Fatundimu said that the association was working hard to bring 500 Nigerians to work together to foster needed development. Commenting on BSCC, Mr Ayodele Odeogbola, Leader, 2018 BSCC said the association had selected about 10 secondary schools out of many schools that applied across the federation to compete under the BSCC.
The contestants had proposed initiatives that would solve problems such as open dedication, food security, poor water facilities in the rural communities among others . He added that N400.000, grant had been laid aside for the best three schools that would emerge as winners.
The News Agency of Nigeria( NAN) reports that students from Gateway Excel College, Otukpa, Benue State with the name Team Fabulous Explorers won the competition and was give a grant of N250 thousand. Team Mush Feeds from Orogun Grammer school, Oyo state took the second place prize of N100,000, while Team Aqua Me of Baptist Boys High School, Abeokuta Ogun State, took third place prize of N50,000