On Thursday, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, handed over the Legislative Mentorship Initiative (LMI) to the National Institute of Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS) in Abuja.
Speaking at the handover ceremony, Gbajabiamila said the dream of setting up the LMI was nursed for a long time but finally came to light when it was launched in June 2022.
He said the program was designed to provide young Nigerians with the skills and knowledge they need to be effective leaders in the public sector.
“In October 2022, on a day I will never forget, we welcomed the first cohort of participants in the initiative,” he said.
The speaker said since then, several people have graduated from the LMI and have made efforts to contribute their quota to the Nigerian project in various arenas.
“When we launched LMI, we did not immediately recognize that a new consciousness was awakening amongst our nation’s youth,” he said.
“We did not see that a new generation of young people had emerged who recognized the role of government in their lives and were determined to have a say in the politics of their communities and their nation.
“The first sign for us ought to have been the magnitude of applications we received to fill a small number of positions in the first training cohort.
“At the time, we were rightly and relentlessly focused on ensuring a successful takeoff.” We didn’t see that the politics of Nigeria are changing in ways we can’t predict and may not be entirely prepared for.
“We did not recognize the palpable resentment of young people who feel the system is not working for them. They think the decisions that define their lives are being made in rooms they don’t have access to and by people who don’t understand their reality.”
The LMI had the potential to be a game-changer, but it has ultimately been a disappointment. The program’s failure is a reminder that Nigeria needs to do more to address the challenges facing its youth. If Nigeria wants to build a better future for its young people, it needs to invest in them and give them the opportunities they deserve.
Reported By A.D.S.