Last week, 30-year-old Mark Okoye was confirmed by the Anambra State House of Assembly as the commissioner of Economic Planning and Budget Development. This will make him the youngest Nigerian commissioner at the moment.
In the typical Nigerian polity, it is seriously rare that youths are appointed to significant political positions. A few months ago, the world was amazed at the appointment of a 22-year old Minister For Youth Affairs in the UAE. Nigeria seems to be gradually accommodating the youth in politics.
Mark Okoye is a graduate of George Washington University, Washington D.C, with a degree in Finance. The young man has a wealth of educational qualifications. He has championed a good number of professional courses from Harvard, to Cambridge and other notable institutions of the world.
Let’s just say Commissioner Mark Okoye Started off way too early on the success trip. In a country where most of his mates battle unemployment, the young man’s star couldn’t dazzle any better.
He has served as a former Executive Director, Anambra State Investment Promotion & Protection Agency; Special Adviser to the Governor on Economic Planning and Budget; and also a former Associate at Afrinvest West Africa.
Many Nigerian youths have smiled at this development. It is a step that gives hope for youthful inclusiveness in government. In our time the only sector that recognizes the potential of the youth is the entertainment industry.
However, all African youths must not be gifted in the same aspect. Some have the political and intellectual capacity to contribute to governance. Most times there are no opportunities to serve their nation with their skills and talents.
Mark Okoye’s appointment by Governor Willie Obiano is indeed commendable. It shows his government recognizes the youth as part and parcel of his administration.
Governor Willie is now fondly known as Africa’s most youth-friendly leader with about 55% of the youth in his administration.