By Justina Auta
The Catholic Youth Organisation of Nigeria (CYON), Mater Dei Parish in Gwagwalada, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, on Thursday, unveiled its Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Resource Centre.
The President of the group, Mr Chiaghanam Emmanuel, said that the centre, named after Rev. Fr. Victor Ogunyemi, would be dedicated to the training of youths on networking, graphics, and website design.
Emmanuel identified other areas as web development, computer programming, mobile applications development, and software engineering among others.
He added that the centre would also be training youths, within and outside the Church on digital and soft skills, through boot camps.
He reiterated the commitment of CYON to empower the youth by engaging them in productive ventures.
According to him, the Church has a responsibility of going beyond providing the spiritual needs of the youths, to empowering them in the areas of capacity building and skills acquisition.
He harped on youths’ development saying, “the world is becoming more digital with the current deepening of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of all Things (IOT) and Robotics Technology.”
“The minds of the Youths need to be focused on where the world is headed, through training and re-training, and the engagement of young people in relevant government sectors and ministries.
“This will ensure that the youths are positively engaged, and their attention diverted from social vices like fraud, drugs, prostitution, addictions, cybercrime, and other forms of social vices.
“The government, through its policies, should provide an enabling environment for young business owners and entrepreneurs,” he said.
He explained that the centre was named after Fr. Ogunyemi for his unflinching disposition towards nurturing and mentoring young minds.
He specifically said that the priest was impacting young minds in the areas of self-discovery, capacity building, empowerment, resourcefulness, zeal, and love for God.
Unveiling the centre, Fr. Ogunyemi, who was the Parish Priest between 2009 and 2015, urged the Church to be more interested in youth empowerment and mentoring.
He stressed the need for the centre to build young people through conferences, seminars, talks and resource mobilisation for businesses and commercial activities.
He also called on governments at all levels to strengthen education service delivery systems, to enable the youths pursue their academic dreams and aspirations.
“The youths should also be given leadership positions in the governance process to showcase their innovative capabilities, particularly in ICT as the world is becoming increasingly digital,” he said.
Also, a representative of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, Mr Femi Emmanuel-Adejo, stressed the need for social reorientation to encourage people to focus on God.