Miss Mary Torunana, who represents Bayelsa Central at the Nigerian Youth Parliament on Wednesday urged Bayelsa youths to go beyond criticising government and prescribe recipe for a better society.
Torunana gave the advice to youth leaders from Bayelsa Central Senatorial District during a town hall meeting with the theme; “Youthful Conversations for a Better Society” at the Yenagoa Council Hall.
She noted that the present youth administration in Bayelsa inaugurated on Feb. 14, was affected and slowed down by the COVID-19 pandemic and was still disposed to creative ideas that would make for a better Bayelsa.
ROYAL NEWS, reports that three resource persons took turns to sensitise the youths on several empowerment opportunities available to them across the country.
Dr Michael Amaegberi, Executive Secretary, Bayelsa State Higher Education Loans Board, in his remarks said Bayelsa government had empowered the board to offer interest free loans to indigent students in public universities to finance their education.
Amaegberi said the policy which was initiated by the last administration was backed by law to ensure continuity, adding that the current administration of Gov Douye Diri had continued to fund the scheme.
He explained that the loan was repayable one year after the beneficiaries had completed their national youth service.
Amaegberi said that the scheme presently catered for students in Nigerian tertiary institutions.
According to him, efforts were underway to amend the law that established the board to accommodate studies in foreign institutions.
Dr Hephzibah Suobo, an official of the World Assembly of Youth (WAY), who represented the Vice President (Africa) of WAY, Mr Preye Ketebu-Brown, noted that youths were critical in the development of every society.
Suobo challenged youths from Bayelsa to take the front row in global conversation about environmental consequences of fossils fuel and carbon emission as Bayelsa had borne the brunt of oil exploration for about 60 years.
Mr Ighosotu Kelvin, a member of Nigerian Youth Parliament representing Delta Central Senatorial District highlighted opportunities in programmes by the Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports and urged Bayelsa youths to grab them.
Kelvin noted that there were so many programmes designed by the Federal Government for youths, but lamented that majority of them were apprehensive and dissipated energy on social media and unproductive activities.
He said that 13,000 youths from Bayelsa would benefit from the N75 billion Nigerian Youth Investment Fund, adding that they could only benefit from the fund if they apply.
Kelvin urged the state government to assist the youths with capacity building programmes to enable them meet the criteria to qualify for the scheme.
ROYAL NEWS reports that the youths at the occasion later created two groups to examine issues confronting Bayelsa with a view to finding and proffering workable solutions.
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