Nigerian youths urged to participate in democratic governance

Nigerian youths urged to participate in democratic governance

- Nigerian youths have maintained an apolotical stance for decades

- Some civil society organisations are making efforts to change the status quo

- Town hall meetings were recently organised by the groups to ensure youths participate fully in governance

Young people in Nigeria have been urged to participate fully in the country's democratic governance space and public service delivery.

The advise was given by Nigeria's foremost activist, Hamzat Lawal during a town hall meeting organised by Connected Development and Action Aid Nigeria in Abuja, the Nigerian capital recently.

Lawal, chief executive officer of CODE and founder of FollowTheMoney, an online community for passionate young people who are holding their government accountable in order to increase government service delivery across Africa.

His words: “As tax payers, it is your entitlement to enjoy service delivery as young people A lot of you who think you don't pay tax because you are not employed actually pay.

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“When you buy anything from a road side, the trader is being taxed by the government, so indirectly they pay tax on your behalf.

“You should show interest in how the government spend our resources always for the benefit of the society.”

He opined that young people must be active stakeholders, consulted and fully mobilised to influence public choices and implement government projects for the benefit of the society.

He urged them to take interest in the budgeting processes of their council areas to cause elected officials to attend to their community needs.

At the event, stakeholders comprising representatives of local council administrators, the national assembly and civil society, stressed the need for young people to ask relevant questions on how local council budgets are appropriated so as to check incidents of misuse. gathered that apart from the Federal Capital Territory, the townhall meetings were also held in Enugu, Kaduna and Lagos states.

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The aim, the organisers say, is and bringing together informed young people and stakeholders driving commitments towards a gender responsive service delivery.

“We are creating a platform for young people around six focal states to interact with stakeholders on public finance and budget processes,” a short statement from CODE informed journalists .

Before now, young people in Nigeria were mostly not concerned and interested in activities of the government.

Organisations like CODE and Action Aid are now changing the narrative and ensuring that the status quo is changed.

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The FCT town hall meeting had two sessions

1. Youths campaigning campaigning for quality service delivery and

2. Ensuring youth inclusive governance

Meanwhile, the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to assent to the Companies and Allied Matters Act (Repeal and Re-enactment) bill.

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Executive Director of CISLAC, Auwal Ibrahim Musa, during a press briefing on Thursday, November 7, stated that the bill contains provisions that enhances the ability of anti-corruption agencies to detect and stop corruption. ( -> Same great journalism, upgraded for better service!

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