NYFF Holds Northeast Retreat In Gombe

By Muhammad Auwal Ibrahim

The Nigeria Youth Futures Fund has held its second regional retreat in Gombe state for northeast members of the Imaginative Futures Working Group.

Recall that the retreat started in Kano state for northwest members to deliberate on the youth agenda and imagine a vision for Nigeria come 2050.

The two-day retreat starting from 10th-11th October 2022 saw members embarking on a visioning exercise and contributing towards the betterment of Nigeria.

This followed a rigorous selection process by the secretariat where only three members were lucky to be selected to represent each state of the region.

Speaking earlier at the event, Opeyemi Oriniowo, the project lead of NYFF, said “NYFF is a collaborative project of Leap Africa, MacArthur Foundation and Ford Foundation to strengthen and support Nigerian youth for youth leadership, activism and social change through outcome-driven policy-making and inclusive resourcing that will enable young people to contribute to national development.”

According to him, the “Ministry of budget and national planning are very much aware of this work we are doing. And the outputs from this national visioning exercise we are doing across the country is going to be mainstreamed into that document. That will now determine what will be government priorities from now to 2050.”

“Is it innovation? is it entrepreneurship? is it healthcare? What are the key issues affecting young people in Nigeria? That is what we are seeking to get from these conversations we are having around the country and the outcome of this will determine what we decide to do for the next five years of the project.”

The project lead lauded how youth have shown their concerns for the future of Nigeria.”There is still a lot of hope. What we come to see in Gombe is hope. Hope in the eyes of young people. Young people still believed that despite all of the odds, a new Nigeria is possible. Where young people’s interests are mainstreamed.  The Nigeria that is inclusive, works for the majority not the Nigeria of the elites. But a Nigeria that works for most of us.  And that only happened when everybody plays their roles. That’s what we are championing. A new Nigeria on the back of young people who constituted the largest asset of this country.”

Speaking after the retreat, Aliyu Dada, a member from Bauchi state expressed his satisfaction and delight at the event. “This is a wonderful event and then it has been an amazing and interactive session with youth from the Northeast. I am glad I made it to the regional retreat. Because it is something that has taken a sound to make a better future for Nigerian youths.”

Dada also prays and hopes that “the way will be smooth for all us to achieve the dreams and so also the Nigeria we want.”

Barr, Gambo Wakili from Bauchi state and Muazu Alhaji Modu from Yobe state emerged victorious with the highest votes in an election aimed at selecting those who will be representing the northeast at the national retreat.

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