Youth devt key priority of my govt, says Kwara Gov

Stephen Olufemi Oni, Ilorin

Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has reiterated his administration’s commitment to continuing to empower the youth, nurture their talents and equip them with necessary skills to thrive in the evolving world, adding that the government prioritizes youth development, thereby investing in projects that create opportunities for them to explore, experiment and express themselves freely.

The Governor was speaking in Ilorin at the Kwara Books and Arts Festival (KWABAFEST), an event designed to celebrate creativity, innovation, and the boundless potential of youth in the state.

The programme, which is the second in the series, was put together by a team of young people led by Mr. Abdulbasit Hossein, and was themed: “Transcendence”.

It featured panel discussions, where panelists spoke on the importance of record keeping, the need to improve access to data about creatives and cultural heritage, how economic situation affects the creative industry, and how young people can master their arts.

“At the heart of our administration’s vision lies a steadfast commitment to empowering our youth, nurturing their talents, and equipping them with the skills and opportunities they need to thrive in an ever-changing world,” the Governor said this through the Commissioner for Communications Hon Bola Olukoju who represented him.

“Today, I am honored to share with you some of the initiatives and projects that we have undertaken to realize this vision and unlock the full potential of our youth. First and foremost, we recognize that creativity knows no bounds, and our youth are the torchbearers of innovation and imagination.

“That is why we have invested in initiatives such as the Visual Arts Centre, the Ilorin Innovation Hub, the Film Factory, and the Garment Factory—spaces where young minds can explore, experiment, and express themselves freely. These hubs of creativity not only provide avenues for artistic expression but also serve as incubators for entrepreneurship, innovation, and economic growth.”

AbdulRazaq, who described literacy as a foundation for all other forms of learning, said the launch of the technology based KwaraLEARN by his government was to revolutionize learning and literacy development in the state.

By harnessing the power of technology, we are breaking down barriers to education, expanding access to quality learning resources, and empowering our youth to unlock their full potential, he said.

The Governor also said that the government is keen to promote and preserve cultural identity through initiatives that celebrate diversity, foster cultural exchange, and promote social cohesion, adding “culture is the lifeblood of our communities”.

He commended the organizer and those who have contributed to the success of the festival that he noted was driven by dedication, passion, and commitment to youth empowerment.

“This book festival is a positive reference point that has put Kwara on the map, and we are glad to associate with the young people who are the architects of the initiative. We hope to see the festival become bigger and a major rallying point for creative minds in northern Nigeria and Nigeria as a whole”.

Director of KWABAFEST, Abdulbasit Hossein, in his remarks, said the programme was organised to tell the original story of the state, and to serve as a platform to host and nurture future voicers in Nigeria literature, saying Kwara is at the forefront in the arts, creativity and film making, and deserves to be projected well to the larger society.

Dr Lafiagi, one of the panelists, who spoke on how the economy affects the artistic works, said it is important for Nigerian citizens, especially the talented youth, to do away with a sense of entitlement and see the current economic downturn as a means to think outside the box to improve the economy.


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