British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Paul Arkwright has commended young Nigerians for securing the passage of the age reduction bill, popularly referred to as ‘Not too young to run bill’ by both National and State Houses of Assembly, as the bill awaits Presidential assent.
Arkwright stated this during the Commonwealth Big Lunch event on Thursday in Abuja which drew participants from various youth organizations in attendance, including YIAGA Africa.
In his address, Arkwright noted that the Big Lunch event in Nigeria is themed around youths who were important to the Commonwealth as 60 per cent of Commonwealth Nations citizens are below 30 years of age.
He further said that 40 per cent of the world youth live in Commonwealth countries and 1 Billion people living in Commonwealth countries are under 25 years of age.
The High Commissioner noted that activities of youth organizations are important to the Commonwealth and matters to the future of Nigeria saying, “Young people in Nigeria face challenges and the good work youth organizations carry out provide solutions to those challenges”.
He said: “You should all be proud of your role to secure the passage of the not too young to rule bill, a reform that has been long overdue and a reform that I and a number of other High Commissioners here present have also supported. I was delighted to meet the YIAGA Group earlier and many congratulations to you for pushing through. I hope that it leads and open the doors to greater youth participation in politics and in policy making throughout Nigeria.
“Activities of youth organizations are very important to the Commonwealth and matters to the future of Nigeria. British Prime Minister, Theresa May have put youth at the heart of the upcoming Common Wealth Summit in London. She has invited youth delegates to address commonwealth leaders in New York in September to talk about their vision for the Commonwealth.
“At the Summit before the leaders meet, there will be a Commonwealth Youth Forum that will provide the opportunity for young people of the Commonwealth to build cross-cultural connections and networks to debate the challenges facing young people and to agree youth-led initiatives to influence decision makers and to ensure young people have a voice in their future”, he added.