In 2016, Nigeria’s population hit a whopping 182 million. According to Bloomberg, more than half this number is under the age of 30. It goes without saying, therefore, that young people who make up more than half of Nigeria’s growing population should be at the centre of the formulation of key policies that affect them. It was for this reason that YIAGA hosted an online discussion on Youth Budgeting in Nigeria on Friday, January 13th, 2017.
Youth Development experts, Rotimi Olawale of Youthhub Africa, and Satah Nubari were key discussants. The tweet chat focused on analysing the 2017 Ministry of Youth Budget, reviewing of the National Youth Policy, youth development legislation and financing, as well, as well as other priority youth issues.
The discussants and other online participants analysed the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development 2017 budget. According to Rotimi Olawale, the mandate of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development is rarely taken into cognizance when developing the ministry’s budget. He stated that most of the line items in the ministry’s budget are very vague.
“I’ll say that the mandate is not even looked at when crafting the budget. It is interesting to see that the review of the National Youth Policy will cost us 50million Naira”, he said.
Nubari Saatah, in his response, took a similar route: “Well, it depends on a lot of factors. To me, it doesn’t. To those who drafted it, it does. Going by the contents of the budget, it looks more like a Ministry of Sports and you cannot then outrightly say it reflects the Ministry’s mandate.’’
The discussants also stated that the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development dedicated 80% of its 2017 budget to the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). They disagreed with the Federal Government’s decision to merge the Ministries of Sport and Youth Development respectively.
YIAGA’s Senior Program Officer on youth questioned the rationale for this. Daniel Mkpume, a participant in the Tweet Chat lamented that youth development, a core mandate of the Ministry, has been limited to NYSC and sports development.
Ukachi Chukwu, another participant, called this a “terrible idea”, adding that youth development goes beyond sports.
The participants also advocated for a public/private partnership in financing youth development budgets in Nigeria.
Key recommendations from the Twitter engagement on effective ways of budgeting for youth development in Nigeria include:
- Comprehensive review and implementation of the National Youth Policy to reflect present realities.
- Development of a holistic method for youth budgeting in Nigeria.
- A linkage between the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development and key Ministries and Departments and Agencies, particularly the Ministry of Education.
- Development of targeted programs for disadvantaged young Nigerians who are often more susceptible to radicalization.
- Development of youth internship schemes
- Provision of interest-free loans to enhance entrepreneurship.
- Change of government attitude towards youth budgeting development.
- Development of better programs targeted at young people.
- Promotion of public/private partnerships, potentially in managing youth centres.
- Taking advantage of opportunities for youth development in budgets of other ministries and parastatals.
- Establishment of innovation hubs in select institutions of higher learning across Nigeria.
For more on the tweet chat, click here: https://storify.com/YIAGA/budgeting-for-youth-development-in-nigeria-58791285427d039029c6783a