President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, on Tuesday said the National Assembly is committed to ensuring greater youth participation in governance to guarantee the country's future.
Speaking when he played host to the Nigerian Youth Parliament, led by its Speaker, Hon. Ayodele John Obe, in Abuja, Saraki said part of the change policy of the present administration is geared towards effective engagement of the younger generation so as to raise vibrant leaders who will steer the ship of state in future.
He stated that the Senate will continue to acknowledge the efforts of the youths in governance and national, adding that, "I want to confirm our commitment as the Senate on empowerment of the youths, not only because you are the majority in the population but also because we believe you are the owners of the future.
“Both in terms of innovation and entrepreneurship, our youths have displayed much zeal and in the light of this, we will continue to partner with you," he said.
The Senate President who acknowledged the mandate of the 109-man strong Youth Parliament, said the request of the Speaker to enable members of parliament undergo internship with their respective Senators would be looked into to ensure that the youths are imbued with necessary legislative skills required to pilot a federal legislature.
He further said the Senate would work out a modality to enable the youth lawmakers participate in the activities of the Red Chamber at the committee levels.
He also noted that the enormous socio-economic and leadership challenges facing the country require all hands to get involved in resuscitating the economy at this critical moment, saying that youths should be ready to partner with the government in all ramifications.
Earlier, the Speaker of the Third Session of the Nigerian Youth Parliament, Hon. Ayodele John Obe, commended the visionary and robust leadership of the Senate President.
"Under your delightful efforts, commitment and proactive leadership, the 8th Senate has provided the much needed legislative impulse, insight and oversight functions. Thus, worthy of note, is that this breakthrough was recorded amidst severe turbulence," Obe stated.
The Speaker, however decried the removal of the youth development vote from the 2016 budget "which has stalled virtually all the youth activities for the year," and appealed to the executive to ensure that provision is made for it in the supplementary and subsequent yearly Appropriation Acts.