President Muhammadu Buhari Monday in Abuja declared that disbanding of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) is the first step to extensive police reforms by his administration.
Speaking at the launch of the Presidential Youth Empowerment Scheme (P-YES), aimed at creating 774,000 jobs across the Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the country, President Buhari also directed that all those responsible for misconduct or wrongful acts be brought to justice.
The president who was speaking at the P-YES programme, also attended by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Senate President Ahmed Lawan, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State and Engineer Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State said the concerns of Nigerians were borne out of genuine acts of brutality by some personnel of the dissolved SARS.
President Buhari while restating his administration’s commitment to youth development and poverty alleviation pledged that the Federal Government policies of social protection and people empowerment would continue on track, despite the challenges posed by COVID-19 pandemic.
The President described P-YES as a cornerstone of his administration’s social and economic development strategies and added that it was part of the overall policy of ensuring that 100 million Nigerians were lifted out of poverty in ten years.
President Buhari, who took a tour of P-YES tools and equipment displayed at the forecourt of Presidential Villa, expressed delight that the materials showcased represent the fruits of the initiatives embarked upon by his administration in 2016.
The President used the occasion to call on State Governments, Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government to factor the P-YES into their programmes to assist the youth realise their potentials in their chosen fields.
He urged local and foreign private sector operators in Nigeria to also contribute their share to the expansion of this programme through channelling their corporate social responsibility efforts towards skills acquisition, creation of start-ups, and other intervention measures.
President Buhari declared that the expansion of the P-YES would now be vigorously pursued, adding that more resources will be committed to the achievement of its goals and objectives towards youth empowerment and entrepreneurship development.
He commended the Office of the Senior Special Assistant on Youth and Students Affairs, under Nasiru Saidu Adhama, for driving the P-YES programme in accordance with the mandates prescribed for the office and the programme.
He expressed confidence that the programme being supervised by the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation would make significant difference.
In his remarks, Adhama assured the President that as achieved in the pilot phase of the programme the selection of beneficiaries in the full-scale P-YES scheme would be done with the utmost transparency and credibility, adding that equal opportunities will be observed in the delivery of equipment, tools and machines to all States and LGAs.