From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja
ActionAid Nigeria in collaboration with Kogi Youth Development Commission (KYDC) is soon to engage over 750 youths from across the state in various skills acquisition as part of measures to address drivers of violent extremism.
Mr Anicetus Atakpu, Resilience Programme Coordinator, ActionAid Nigeria disclosed this at a one-day Roundtable Advocacy Meeting for Kogi Youth Development Commission Law on Wednesday in Lokoja.
Atakpu said the training was part of the International NGO’s Structure Strengthening Against Radicalization to Violent Extremism (SARVE) Project being currently executed in Kogi and Nassarawa states.
He said that the programme, sponsored by GCERF and executed by Participation Initiative for Behavioural Change in Development (PIBCID) and ActionAid Nigeria would now collaborate with the Youth Commission for better results.
The Resilience Programme Coordinator said ActionAid Nigeria planned to support 750 youths annually to acquire skills as part of its sustenance support programme in partnership with the commission.
In view of the envisaged partnership, Atakpu said there was need for the State Government to urgently implement the policy and operationalise the commission.
According to him, the Commission will establish several programmes to foster Youth entrepreneurship and employment in such areas as micro-credit and franchise scheme, transition to work program skills training and as well, support awareness raising through media campaigns.
The commission, he added, would also support research to identify labour market needs and areas of skills shortage, create and manage database on youth demographics and as well be free for sustainable policies that would contributes to youth development.
He said that the law establishing the commission was an excellent example of a bottom-top advocacy campaign led by the local youths in Kogi.
Alhaji Ahmed Mohammed, Deputy Speaker, Kogi State House of Assembly, speaking at the meeting, said what the state stood to benefit from the commission was huge adding that there was need to regain lost grounds arising from non-existence of the outfit.
The legislator representing Ankpa I Constituency held that there was urgent need to start looking at the modalities to see how the commission would start describing the law establishing the commission as a win-win initiative.
Mohammed said the commission would not depend 100 per cent on the government as it would be self-sustaining adding that once the structure was put in place and it became operational, government would only take care of overhead costs.
Our Correspondent reports that the Youth Development Commission bill for Implementation of Sustainable Youth Policy was passed by the state legislative assembly on November 14 and assented to by Governor Yahaya Bello.