From Esther Akaa, Lafia
The Nasarawa State Youth Development Commission, Implementation of Sustainable Youth Policy and other matters Bill has scaled first reading on the floor of the state House of Assembly during plenary recently.
The bill which seeks to reduce the vulnerability of young people to violent extremism is supported by ActionAid Nigeria through its System and Structure Strengthening Approach Against Radicalisation to Violent Extremism (SARVE II) project implemented in the state.
The bill was presented by the Deputy Speaker of the House, Rt Hon. Nehemiah Dandaura, who moved a motion for its first reading.
Similarly, the Chairman, House Committee on Youth and Sports Development, Musa Iyimoga, representing Doma North Constituency seconded the motion for the bill to scale first reading.
The speaker of the House, Rt Hon. Ibrahim Abdullahi, therefore, slated 15 December, 2020 for the second reading of the bill.
Speaking to journalists after plenary, the deputy speaker and sponsor of the bill, Rt Hon. Dandaura said the bill would provide sustainable policy guide to youth activities when finally implemented in the state.
Dandaura who represents Akwanga North in the Assembly, explained that the bill was put together before the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic and the recent #EndSARS protest, adding that presentation of the bill was timely, due to the recent agitations by the youth across the country.
“When you link the bill to the recent protest against police brutality, you will see that the bill, when finally passed and implemented, will address most of these agitations by the youth.
“In terms of employment, the youth commission when created would accommodate many youths, attract grants and influence policies that can impart on the youth. The bill will also attract foreign and private attention,” Dandaura added.
He expressed optimism that the bill will receive accelerated hearing and subsequently be passed into law.
Also speaking, Chairman, House Committee on Youth and Sports Development, Iyimoga promised to support the bill as it concerns the welfare of youths in the state.
“We will give the bill a suitable and convincing substance that would make even the government to understand why the commission should be established, looking at the percentage of youths in the state and the level of unemployment,” he said.
He called on the youths to tolerate one another, in order to build a united front for the peace and progress of the state, noting that no society can develop without peace and unity.
On his part, the Resilience Programme Coordinator of ActionAid Nigeria, Mr Anicetus Atakpu expressed happiness over the development, adding that the bill when enacted would create an enabling environment for the protection of fundamental human rights, by ensuring the inclusion of youths in decision making of the state.
Mr Atakpu revealed that ActionAid Nigeria, alongside her partners, with funding from the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF) was building capacities of youths through empowerment programmes to make them become self-reliant.