ABUJA – The Country Director of WaterAid Nigeria, Mr Michael Ojo, said on Wednesday creation of job opportunities and entrepreneurship for the youth was necessary in the water and sanitation and hygiene(WASH) sector.
He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that WaterAid would create such opportunities to enable the youth to be part of the economic prosperity of the country.
According to him, young professionals are inadequate in the sector to replace the ageing ones in the effort to develop it and that more young men and women should be trained.
“We have a crisis that is building up, that we do not have enough young professionals in the sector.
“People are talking about up to 70 per cent of Nigerians being under the age of 30.
“We have to think of how to ensure that this population is able to play the part in helping us deal with this issue of lack of access to water and sanitation and hygiene.
“Their voices need to be heard; they also need to be empowered to hold people to account for what is going to affect their lives.
“There are ways that young people talk to each other, which I think having them on board and being drivers of these would help.
“Our sanitation access figure has declined. So, we need every idea and I know that young people are full of ideas and we want to tap into that.’’
Ojo said the African Ministers Council on Water’s strategy and policy on mainstreaming youths would foster development if implemented by the government and the donor agencies.
He also said the youth should be involved in governance, they should be heard and make inputs on how the agenda for the wash sector is set.
He added that they should be involved in the monitoring and evaluation of partnership programmes and investments that were coming into the sector. (NAN)