From Esther Akaa, Lafia
A Non Governmental Organisation (NGO), ActionAid Nigeria (AAN) says the passage of the Nasarawa Youth Development Commission Bill would facilitate the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS) in Nasarawa State.
The Country Director of AAN, Mrs Ene Obi stated this on Tuesday during a one-day advocacy roundtable on the Nasarawa Youth Development Commission Bill, held at Mosmmera Guest Palace, Lafia.
According to her, the SDGS which is aimed at ending poverty in all its forms by the year 2030 can be achieved when the youths who are future leaders are included in governance.
Mrs Obi, represented by the Manager, Social Mobilisation, AAN, Mr Adewale Adeduntan said the bill, initiated by the Deputy Speaker of Nasarawa State House of Assembly, Nehemiah Dandaura, if passed would ensure sustainability, smooth financing as well as draw the interest of development partners who may want to support youths programmes to the state.
“The reason why ActionAid is supporting the passage of this bill is to ensure that we have a robust way of engagement that will facilitate active development of young people in a robust manner because we feel that regardless of what policy instruments, systems and structures that we may think we have on ground. Such from our assessment is narrow and this particular bill If it flies, will ensure that we have a broader people oriented policy instruments that would ensure continuity.
“Also, regardless on how any Chief Executive Officer (CEO) or governor may be passionate about the interest of young people, once he or she leaves office as the case may be, as it is in Africa, people truncate their predecessors line of thoughts and development initiatives. So with this bill if it scales through, it will ensure sustainability, smooth financing and the most interesting part of it is that it will draw the interest of development partners to the state.
“If you have a commission that projects the interest of young people, development partners will be coming to the state to ensure that they see to the well-being of young people and that their interests are protected for the purpose of ensuring that we also project the target we have for the sustainable development Goals( SDGS),” Mrs Obi said.
She therefore, called on the State Assembly to ensure that the youth bill scales through in order to facilitate the achievement of the aim and objectives of SDGS in the state.
Also speaking, the Resilience Programme Coordinator, AAN, Mr Anicetus Atakpu, said the bill if passed, will pave ways for sustainable policies that will contribute to youth development and address some of the drivers of violent extremism in the state.
He said that the commission if established would address youth needs and provide a platform for articulating youth voices as well as track all Government investment on youths through monitoring and evaluation among others.
Responding on behalf of government, the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) Barr Aliyu Ubandoma, said the state government was working in collaboration with AAN and her partners to ensure the eradication of poverty and gender inequality in the state.
Barr Ubandoma, represented by the Assistant Director, Office of SSG, Hussaini Adamu, said that, the state government through partnership with AAN has inaugurated the State Conflict Management Alliance (SCOMA) aimed at resolving conflicts through intelligent gathering and the use of early warning and early response mechanism.
He assured of the state government’s readiness to partner Non Governmental Organisations, in order to improve the welfare of its citizens.
The advocacy roundtable which was attended by representatives of security agencies, key Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) and other critical stakeholders is in pursuance of AAN’s System and Structure Strengthening Approach Against Violent Extremism (SARVE II) Project being funded by the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF).