Deputy Speaker Charges Youth to Change Nigeria with Innovations, Entrepreneurial Spirit
The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu has counseled Nigerian youth to contribute meaningfully to the nation’s progress, saying it is time to build the country of their dreams.
Kalu spoke while giving his keynote address at the Nigeria Youth Futures Fund (NYFF) grants unveiling event themed “Catalysing Youth Agency for the Nigeria We Want” in Abuja on Monday.
NYFF is a project that is in partnership with LEAP Africa, the MacArthur Foundation, and the Ford Foundation where some grants are given to some youth for empowerment.
The Deputy Speaker who lauded the programme asked the youth the seize the opportunity to better their lots.
He said that NYFF’s impact extends beyond the grantees themselves, stressing that it is creating a ripple effect, inspiring other young Nigerians to believe in their potential and take action to create a better future,.
Kalu added that the impact also fosters a vibrant youth ecosystem, where collaboration and knowledge sharing are the norm, and where young people are connected, empowered, and ready to make a difference.
He said: “It is now your turn, the youth of Nigeria, to seize the mantle of leadership and continue the march towards a brighter future. The challenges we face, are not insurmountable obstacles but rather opportunities for innovation, collaboration, and transformative change.
“Step into the arena of leadership, not as mere participants, but as architects of a new Nigeria. Let your voices be heard, your ideas be shared, and your actions be the driving force behind a nation that truly reflects the dreams and aspirations of its youth.
“Let us envision a Nigeria where innovation thrives, where entrepreneurship flourishes, and where technology empowers our youth to become the engines of economic growth. Let us envision a Nigeria where diversity is celebrated, where inclusion is the norm, and where every Nigerian feels valued and respected.
“The time for action is now, my fellow Nigerians. Let us seize this moment, this opportunity to shape the Nigeria we want, a nation that reflects our collective dreams and aspirations. Let us unleash the power of youth agency, the transformative force that will propel our nation toward a brighter future.
“I am a living example. I also saw the opportunity in the leadership space and I seized it. From local government chairmanship in my early years to being a two term member of the executive council of my state to being the deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, and still not old.”
Charging the youth to stay away from kidnapping, thuggery and insurgency Kalu stated that the grants are not merely financial lifelines but catalysts for innovation.
“This is a message to young people, you’re better than doing kidnapping, you’re better than being in an insurgency group. You can do more than being a thug. You have a lot in your hands. It’s time for you to harness it,” he said.
“As we unveil these grants, we are not simply distributing funds; we are sowing the seeds of a new era, one where the voices of young Nigerians are amplified, their energies harnessed, and their dreams realized,” he said.