Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo has insisted that engagement with the Nigerian youths has to be transparent and honest.
This, according to him, will help build a progressive society, adding that this was why he refused to share slots among politicians in the implementation of the Buhari administration’s Social Investment Programmes (SIPs).
The Vice President said the Social Investment programmes, SIPs, such as the N-Power, were conducted in a manner whereby Nigerians who knew no one could benefit.
Osinbajo spoke on Tuesday when he played host to the executive committee of the Young Parliamentarians Forum led by its Chairman, Hon. Representative Karu Simon Elisha from Kebbi State at the Presidential Villa.
Recall that Osinbajo was asked by President Muhammadu Buhari to coordinate the SIPs at its commencement in 2016.
“The first problem was everybody wanted a slot. I resisted it. Why? If I do that, we will destroy the programmes because the majority of Nigerians don’t know people who will take the slots.
“It was not that one was being purist, but if young people can’t get the benefit except they know someone then we have failed the young people.
“One day the President called me that he was listening to BBC Hausa Service and he heard two young men-beneficiaries of N-Power – saying they didn’t know anybody but were being paid the N30, 000 monthly stipends. The President said that is what shows we are making a difference.
“And everywhere we went during the 2019 campaigns, we had these young people organizing themselves coming out supporting us,” he recalled.
“If people know they count, then they can trust us and they won’t destroy, because they have a stake. Otherwise, people will never trust us,” he submitted, insisting that political leaders must make sacrifices in order to win the trust of the people.
Osinbajo said that the government must find a way to make sure that the youths, who are the vast majority in the country, are represented as effectively as possible.