From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja
Stakeholders on strengthening of resilience against violent extremism have called on Kogi State Government to urgently constitute a board for National Youth Development Commission (NYDC) to fast tract enhancement of policies and programmes affecting lives of the young persons.
The call was made over the weekend in Lokoja at a one day seminar with the theme ;”Policy Dialogue on Youth Development/ Validation of” UNSCR 2250″ Domestication Document for Kogi Organised by ActionAid Nigeria in collaboration with PIBCID.
According to the resource person, Mr. Emmanuel Etim, who defined a youth as a person between ages 15-29 of which he said constitutes a high percentage of the population that should be made to participate in the issues that affect them.
He said the youth development is essentially an empowerment programme designed to avail children and young people the opportunity to take charge of their lives, adding that the Youth Action Plan (YAP) is programmed to addressing their situations and help them act in order to improve their access to resources that will transform their consciousness.
Etim who is a consultant to the Action Aid Nigeria, asserted that the initiative would increase the entrepreneurial skills of the youth , create avenues for the development of their potentials, enable them acquire new skills to develop the already learned skills and to equip them for the task ahead.
In his contribution, the Special Adviser , to the governor on Sustainable Development Goals (SSG) Nasir , Ohiani noted that the youth which constitute majority percentage of the population, should be made to participate and own issues that directly affecting them.
The Special Adviser stated that the United Nations Security Council Resolutions 2250 has given the youth ample opportunity to participate in line with SDG 16 based on gender equality.
He said when issues of youth restiveness is curbed by giving them the opportunity in healing process , Government will have more resources that will be channelled to other critical areas of development.
He commended Governor Yahaya Bello for recognising the youth as drivers of development in his administration and assured that the government will continue to sustain their inclusion in government.
In the same vein the Commissioner for Youth and sports Mr. Idris Musa, said the outbreak of Covid 19 has hampered the Constitution of the board of NYDC and pledge that by the first quarter of 2021 the board will be inaugurated.
He added that although the Commission was captured in the 2020 budget , the effect of the pandemic could not allow it to take off assured that necessary Infrastructures would be put in place before the end of the first quarter.
Also speaking at the forum, the Executive Director PIBCID, Halima Sadiq stressed the need for Government to create enabling environment for youths to thrive in the socioeconomic developement.
The Policy Dialogue she explained would help draw out a Kogi State Youth Action Plan, called for the Implementation of the Youths Commission that has been signed into law.