From Esther Akaa, Lafia
ActionAid Nigeria, in collaboration with Global Peace Development (GPD) and Beacon Youth Development (BYI) have organised an advocacy roundtable to seek ways of accelerating the passage of the Nasarawa Youth Development Commission Bill (NYCB).
The advocacy roundtable for 16 legislators from Nasarawa State House of Assembly (NSHA) is part of the implementation of the System and Structure Strengthening Approach Against Radicalisation to Violent Extremism (SARVE II) project funded by the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF).
At the meeting held on Friday in Abuja, the Deputy Speaker (NSHA), Nehemiah Dandaura, stressed the importance of the bill and assured of the Assembly’s commitment to its passage.
According to him, the bill which has passed through first reading was initiated with the aim of alleviating the sufferings of the youths through meaningful engagements that will make them become self employed.
“I am a youth friendly legislator. So many thoughts about the recent EndSARS protest led to the support for the bill. If we can have something like a commission that will have to do with youth activities, it will alleviate poverty and most of the youths will be engaged.
“Looking at our society, we see that youths are graduating everyday from universities, polytechnics and colleges of education and these youths are flooding the streets. So I feel that if the commission bill is signed into law, it will cut down lots of these issues and also relieve the youth from unemployment,” he said.
In her remark, the Country Director of ActionAid Nigeria, Mrs Ene Obi, represented by the Director, Organisational Effectiveness, ActionAid Nigeria, Mrs Funmilayo Oyefusi, appreciated the House for the support given to the bill so far, especially for allowing it scale first reading.
She noted that youths in the state were in dire need of a legal framework for proper engagement, empowerment, and development to make them become productive, hence the need for the quick passage of the bill.
“The Youth Development Commission when established as is being planned in Kogi State, being the first state in Nigeria to have such law in place, will provide a framework for structured youth engagement which would strengthen the State Government’s efforts and those of other development partners in ensuring that Nasarawa state youth receive all the necessary political and policy backing to engender their continued role in governance.
“This will help in addressing all basic social vices that make youth vulnerable to radicalisation and violent extremism,” she said.