- Yiaga Africa recently engaged stakeholders in Akwa Ibom state on how to monitor the implementation of the state's budget
- The initiative is geared towards ensuring that it is responsive to youth and gender issues in the state
- The engagement is under the Youth Organizing and Leadership Project (YOL) which is supported by ActionAid
Uyo - Residents of Akwa Ibom have been urged to start policing the implementation of the state’s budget in order to ensure that it is responsive to youth and gender issues.
The call was made by the chairperson of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Akwa Ibom state chapter, Comrade Sunny James in response to questions raised about how youth and women groups can ensure youth and gender responsiveness in state budgeting.
Comrade James was speaking at a policy dialogue on youth and gender responsiveness in state budgeting hosted by Yiaga Africa on Wednesday, September 22 in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom state capital.
Legit.ng gathered that the policy dialogue created an avenue for strategic engagement between policymakers, youth groups, and representatives of ministries, departments, and agencies where youth and gender-focused projects are domiciled in the state.
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It also identified and evaluated existing interventions targeted at youth development in the state as well as highlighted the challenges impacting the implementation of these interventions.
The policy dialogue is also the first in a series of five state-level policy dialogues on youth and gender responsiveness in state budgeting as part of the Youth Organizing and Leadership (YOL) project being implemented by Yiaga Africa with support from ActionAid Nigeria.
While presenting the findings on youth and gender-responsive budgeting in Akwa Ibom, Olaniyan Sanusi, Yiaga Africa’s program officer for governance and development, stated that total allocation to youth-specific projects in the 2021 budget for the state amounts to N1.634 billion or 0.67% of the total capital budget of N241.450 billion.
On his part, Ibrahim Faruk, Yiaga Africa’s program manager for governance and development urged youth in Akwa Ibom state to engage the budget-making process by reaching out to the various ministries, departments and agencies to ensure youth and gender responsiveness in budget preparation and implementation for progressive social change.
Various speakers at the dialogue lamented the poor performance of the budget as one of the challenges impacting the implementation of youth and gender-focused interventions.
They noted that while provisions are made in the budget for certain interventions, the budget releases and disbursements do not always match the provisions made.
Yiaga Africa demands passage, assent of Gender Equal Opportunities Bill
Recall that Yiaga Africa on Wednesday, September 8 urged the National Assembly to expedite the passage of the Gender and Equal Opportunities Bill.
The call was made by Yiaga Africa's director of programmes, Cynthia Mbamalu, who also asked President Muhammadu Buhari to assent to the bill when it is sent to the executive arm of government.
Mbamalu made the call at the opening of a workshop in Abuja organised by Yiaga Africa in collaboration with the Spotlight Initiative.
Yiaga Africa commends signing of VAPP Act into Law in Adamawa
Meanwhile, Yiaga Africa has commended the governor of Adamawa state, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri for signing the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Bill into law in the state.
The VAPP Act, which was passed by the Adamawa state House of Assembly in March 2021:
“prohibits all forms of violence against persons in private and public life and provides maximum protection and effective remedies for victims and punishment of offenders.”