Young people should be included in politics.

In 2003, when former President Olusegun Obasanjo appointed two relatively young Nigerians as ministers, it offered hopes of demographic inclusion among Nigeria’s largest age group.

Mr Obasanjo, at the time, appointed Chukwuemeka Chikelu (36 years old at the time) and Frank Nweke (37 years old at the time) as successive information ministers.

Mr Chikelu held the office between 2003 and 2005 before he was replaced by Mr Nweke, who formerly was the minister of intergovernmental affairs, special duties and youth development.

However, 18 years on, the ministerial makeup of the country still largely excludes the youth as young Nigerians continue to suffer marginalisation.

PREMIUM TIMESʼ review of the ages of Nigeria’s current 44 ministers shows that their average age is 61 years. The nation’s youth minister, Sunday Dare, is 54.

The Nigerian national youth policy of 2009 defined youth as people between 18-35 years. But the age range was reduced to 18–29 years in the new youth policy of 2019. Although, the African youth charter recognises youth as people between 15-35.

Nigeria has a median age of 18.4 years, according to demography tracker Statista, making it the 18th youngest population in the world.

Being one of the youngest populations in the world, half of Nigeria’s population is aged under 19. Yet, at 60.87 as of 2017, life expectancy in Nigeria is low compared to the 72.2 years global average.

With about 17 per cent of Nigerians aged about four years, they form the largest age group in the country. This is followed by children aged 5 to 9.

Source: PremiumTimesNG

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