The Stakeholders in the strengthening of Youth Development Advancement, have called on Kogi State Government to urgently constitute a board for the National Youth Development Commission (NYDC) to fastract enhancement of policies and programmes that affects their lives.
The call was made Thursday in Lokoja at a one day seminar with the “theme Policy Dialogue on Youth Development/ Validation of” UNSCR 2250″ Domestication Document for Kogi Organised by ActionAid Nigeria in collaboration with PIBCID.
According to the resource person, Mr. Emmanuel Etim, said a youth is a person between ages 15-29 which Constitutes high percentage of the population , should be made to participate in the issues that affect them.
He said the youth development is essentially an empowerment programmes designed to avail children and young people the opportunity to take charge of their lives, adding that the Youth Action Plan YAP is programmeed to addressing their situations and help them act in order to improve their access to resources that will transform their consciousness.
Etim who is a consultant to the Action Aid Nigeria, asserted that the initiative would increase the entrepreneurial skills of the youth , create avenues for the development of their potentials, enable them acquire new skills develope the already learned skills and to equip them for the task ahead.
He identified absence of youth development initiatives that will enable them to engage in socio economic and political Policies affecting them is a tonic for radicalisation of violent extremism in the country.
He also added that failing incomes and poverty are assumed to be the critical drivers of violent extremism in developing countries.
He warned that unless legitimate income earning options are relaxed and expanded for the youth, insurgency, banditry, kidnapping and other violent crimes would be attractive to the unemployed youths.
He lamented that violent extremism has posed direct and manifest challenge for the country, saying if not checked , the future generations would be negatively affected.
While commending the Government of kogi state for quick passage and assent to the National Youth Development Commission Bill, urged for urgent constitution of the board to create enabling environment for the youths to channel their energies to productive ventures.
In his contribution, the Special Adviser , to the governor on Sustainable Development Goals (SSG) Nasir , Ohiani noted that the youth which constitute majority percentage of the population, should be made to participate and own issues that directly affecting them.
The Special Adviser stated that the United Nations Security Council Resolutions 2250 has given the youth ample opportunity to participate in line with SDG 16 based on gender equality.
He said when issues of youth restiveness is curbed by giving them the opportunity in healing process , Government will have more resources that will be channelled to other critical areas of development.
He commended Governor Yahaya Bello for recognising the youth as drivers of development in his administration and assured that the government will continue to sustain their inclusion in government.
In the same vein the Commissioner for Youth and sports Mr. Idris Musa, said the outbreak of Covid 19 has hampered the Constitution of the board of NYDC and pledge that by the first quarter of 2021 the board will be inaugurated.
He added that although the Commission was captured in the 2020 budget , the effect of the pandemic could not allow it to take off assured that necessary Infrastructures would be put in place before the end of the first quarter.
Speaking to Newsmen, the Executive Director, PIBCID, Halima Oiza Sadiq said the dialogue aims at seeing youths as parpetrators but as participants, who are pillars in socioeconomic developement.
She explained that discoveries has shown that youths have a role to play in peace and securty, said the need for them to be involved peace building cannot be over stated.
The Executive Director PIBCID called on the need for Government to create enabling environment for the youths to thrive in there socioeconomic developement, said the need to have them integrated and not relegated to the background is now very apt.
The Policy Dialogue she explained would help draw out a Kogi State Youth Action Plan, called for the Implementation of the Youths Commission that has been signed into law.