- Young Nigerians are calling on the government to ensure that its policies are youth and gender-responsive
- This request was amplified a recent meeting on youth responsive service delivery and development organised by Yiaga Africa
- Experts at the meeting say government at all levels must begin to focus on policies that are beneficial to young people
Civil society organisation, Yiaga Africa has called on government at all levels in Nigeria to ensure that its policies and decisions are youth and gender-responsive, saying there is a need for consistent engagement with government at not just the federal level but at the state level.
Director of Programmes, Yiaga Africa, Cynthia Mbamalu said this during a Live Virtual Studio Citizens Townhall on Youth Responsive Service Delivery and Development organized by the organisation.
“We need to start engaging the state assembly to deliver on their mandate to meet the needs of the people and providing oversight to ensure that the executive is delivering on its mandate.”
Also speaking during the program, the chief executive officer of Connected Development, Hamzat Lawal reiterated the need to have informed data in order to plan for a gender and youth responsive service delivery.
According to him, a watered-down legislative arm of government hampers Nigeria country’s ability to practice true democracy.
Lawal further noted that for there to be successful responsive service delivery in governance, data is key and must be taken advantage of to drive change.
“How do we plan a gender-responsive intervention without being informed by data,”
Lawal asked rhetorically while emphasizing that for the needs of the Nigerian people to be met, there must be a deliberate attempt by the government to measure and understand their needs.
Speaking on the Nigerian Youth Investment Program, Ibrahim Faruk, head of governance and development at Yiaga Africa said:
“Some of the current empowerment programs by lawmakers revolve around buying animals, wheelbarrows, motorcycles but the skill of the 21st century that responds to the need of young people is more around technology, entertainment.
“Lawmakers need to answer the question about how budget and policy processes respond to the need of young people as it fits our needs not just what they come up with in their chambers.”
Recently, the federal government through the National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) commenced a programme for rabbit farming which is expected to engage 17,000 youths.
A government statement noted that the move is part of efforts to boost the economy and reduce unemployment in the country.
Recall that President Buhari recently directed that all abandoned farm estates of NALDA be retrieved to enable thousands of young men and women to engage in farming.
The president announced this at the launch of the National Young Farmers Scheme on Tuesday, November 10, designed by NALDA to spur more youth interest in farming among young people.
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