At the commemoration of the 56th Independence Anniversary of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the United Nations Joint Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) congratulates President Muhammadu Buhari for championing young people’s issues in Africa and at the United Nations.

“On behalf of the UNAIDS Executive Director, Michel Sidibe, I would like to congratulate Nigeria for making 56 years as a sovereign, independent country. In particular, I would like to congratulate His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari for his visionary leadership  by  championing issues that touch the development  of young people in Nigeria and globally,” said the UNAIDS Country Director for Nigeria and UNAIDS Focal Point for the Economic Community of West African States, Dr Bilali Camara.

In his speech at the recently concluded 71st United Nations General Assembly in New York, President Buhari acknowledged the importance of youth in national development and expressed Nigeria’s commitment to harnessing the potential of the increasing youth bulge and urged United Nations member states to take advantage of the numbers and creative energy of young people, the UN agency noted in a statement in Abuja.

“Therefore, at the international level, we call for the establishment of a specialised agency for youth development to achieve this strategic objective,” President Buhari said.

The statement noted: “During the visit of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Ahmad Alhendawi, to Nigeria in August 2016, young people increased their advocacy for youth development issues to be placed high on the national and global development agendas, under the leadership of the United Nations.”

“I feel happy to note that issues of young people have received the full attention they deserve from the Federal Government of Nigeria. This attention shall help young people in Nigeria and globally to have healthier and more productive lives, contributing to the economic and social development of each nation,” Dr Camara said.