His Excellency, Prof, Yemi Osinbajo SAN, Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria hosted the 2021 National Gold Award Presentation Ceremony on the 13th of January 2022, at the State House Conference Centre, Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The ceremony which was aimed at celebrating the achievements of young people who have completed the Gold level of the Award, saw 47 young people physically receive their Gold certificates and badges from His Excellency, the Vice President.
Giving his opening remarks, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the International Award for Young People Nigeria, Mr. Olawale Edun, praised Prof. Osinbajo’s personal commitment and unwavering support for the advancement of young Nigerians, noting that it will inspire more young people in the future.
He said: “HRH Prince Philip, The Late Duke of Edinburgh used to hand out the gold awards directly himself in Britain and here we are having the same recognition at the highest level”.
Describing the youth as Nigeria’s most valued assets, the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo said the Federal Government valued their contributions to national development, adding that the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration is doing everything it can to encourage their creativity.
According to him “the ceremony provides an opportunity to not only showcase the resourcefulness of young Nigerians but to also honour the values that the Duke of Edinburgh represented in his lifetime”.
He added ““Meeting you all today is a reminder of the many achievements of young people across Nigeria. Daily, we have young Nigerians in our armed forces, leaving behind family and friends to serve our country in various internal security operations across the country. We have seen how young Nigerians rallied in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and designed various technology solutions to support the government”.
“We have seen young Nigerians break new ground and earn global acclaim in innovation, in technology, in sports and the arts and entertainment. Clearly, our young people are our most valuable assets, and the Federal government believes that they must be encouraged and supported in every way.”
The Vice President also announced the Federal Government’s plan to raise $500 million to support the technology and creativity ecosystem. He also encouraged the Awardees to participate and experience all the benefits of the Nigeria Jubilee Fellowship Programme which was launched last year by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The ceremony also featured Award experiences from three Gold Awardees – Faithwins Iwuh, Kennedy Ubani and Evbotokhai Deborah, a virtual goodwill message from John May, Secretary General of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation and an invitation to the Awardees to join the ‘Global Award Alumni Network’ and the soon to be launched ‘Nigerian Award Holders Association’. Alongside the 47 Awardees, 11 Adult volunteers, 2 schools and 2 organizations were recognized by the Vice President for their commitment and dedication towards the development of young people in Nigeria.
The event which was attended by the Awardees, their parents, teachers and principals, previous Award holders, Mr. Abdulraham Sambo, Trustee The International Award for Young People Nigeria; Mr. Eric Idiahi, World fellow of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation/ Co-founder and Partner of Verod Capital Management Limited; Mrs. Funmi Olotu, Senior Special Adviser to the Governor of Lagos State on State Lotteries; Dr. Adeola Falaiye; MD/CEO of AFKAR Printing and Publishing Company Limited; Mrs. Hauwa Bello, Country Head Public Sector Group Stanbic IBTC bank; Hon. Dave Awunah, Chief Commissioner Scout Association of Nigeria and others, was graced by Deputy British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ms. Gill Atkinson.