Arogbonlo Israel

In bid to achieving the 17 goals of the United Nations for developing countries in the World, some Corps members serving in Ondo under the auspice 'Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)' have organised one-day summit for youths in the state.

The programme which took place at I.T Francis Hall, Federal University of Technology (FUTA), Akure saw the participants educated on the various goals needed to reshape the development plans of Nigeria.

Speaking during the awareness, the SDGs Community Development Service group immediate past President, Kilaso Emmanuel initiated this program to educate the youths on the essence of the SDGs and how they can harness the various goals in solving problems in their local communities. This summit which saw the support of FUTA SDGs Hub led by Isika Emmanuel was tagged "Harnessing Youth Power in Achieving the SDGs".

According to Emmanuel, the SDGs are set of goals that were initiated by the United Nations (UN) in 2015 after evolving from the MDGs to solve problems affecting us as humans and our planet.

He said that the SDGs which is to be achieved by 2030 seek to harmonise three core components for the future: Economic Growth Social inclusion, and Environmental and our country Nigeria still have a long way to go if we are to meet up within the next decade of axtion.

One of the guest speakers, a Special Assistant on Strategic Communication Skills and Partnership to the Governor of Ondo, Joel Ogunsola who was represented by Oluwatosin Omowaire spoke extensively on how the youths could leverage technology to improving the Sustainable Development Goals.

He said: "Basically, technology is a catalyst for SDGs. We are passionate about improving SDGs in our local environment. We are really happy this kind of programme is happening with a view of gathering youths together and talking about how we can leverage technology to improving lives around."

Ogunsola advised the youths to look for platforms or channels through which they can harness technology to achieving the SDGs in their local communities.

Educating the participants on the Goal 3 (Good health and well being) of the SDGs, the Chief Executive Officer of Kids and Teens Resource Centre, Akure Martin Mary emphasised the need for youth to play their role through innovation and advocacy, urging that no nation drive well without harnessing the creative power of its young people.

"There is no nation in the world that develops without the young people. Young people's energy, idealism and commitment can be channeled to make the world a better place for us."

He continued: "The aim of SDG 3 is to ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all ages. To ensure the health of everyone, we also need to address gaps in services, treatment and coverage for vulnerable populations. We can do this by developing strategies to positively impact the morality rates of mothers, children, substance users, the extremely poor and other minority groups who have difficulty addressing their health needs. Thus, the role of the youth in achieving SDG 3 is by joining discussion, advocating for others and leading innovation that will in turn, improve lives around us."

In his part, the State Commander of National Drug Law and Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Haruna Gagara urged the youths to be partners in the fight against drug abuse and illicit trafficking so as to make the society a better place to live.

"The negative effects of drug abuse on Youth and National Development cannot be underscored and quite a number of adverse effects on the labour force and increased money laundering activities, among others. So, we are urging the youths to be partners in the fight against drug abuse and illicit trafficking in Nigeria," he said.

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