Fresh off the celebration of International Youth Day 2016, non-partisan human rights and development organization, HEDA Resource Centre hosted YIAGA to a one-hour Twitter chat on Nigeria’s prospect for achieving Agenda 2030. The discussion centered on the relationship between corruption and poverty eradication, the role of young people in the eradication of poverty and sustainability of production and consumption, as well as how the Buhari-led APC government has fared in the promotion of sustainability of local production and consumption in the country.
Below is the full transcript of the interview:
1) Give us brief information of the IYD and its essence.
YIAGA: In 1999, in its resolution 54/120, the United Nations General Assembly declared August 12 International Youth Day. #InternationalYouthDay gives an opportunity to celebrate young peoples’ views and initiative. the theme of the #IYD2016 is The Road to 2030: Eradicating Poverty & Achieving Sustainable Consumption & Production.
2) Does the Nigerian government recognize the IYD?
YIAGA: the Nigerian government usually marks #IYD with an event organized by the @NigeriaFMYS. However, there was no event by the Federal Government or the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sport Development this year to mark #IYD2016
3) How does this theme resonate with Nigeria?
YIAGA: The #IYD2016 theme resonates quite well within the Nigerian context especially with regards to eradicating poverty and achieving sustainable consumption and production in Nigeria.
4) What measures has Nigerian government taken in eradicating poverty?
YIAGA: The Nigerian government has sought to address the challenge posed by poverty through various programmes & polices. In 1986, the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) was adopted in Nigeria. The Universal Basic Education (UBE) scheme was launched in 1999. The Poverty Alleviation Programme earmarked the sum of N10billion to create 200,000 jobs in the year 2000. The National Economic Empowerment & Development Strategy (NEEDS) was designed to advance the quality of life. Eradicating poverty & extreme hunger as part of MDGs/SDGs is a major policy priority of the Nigerian government.
5) What impact does the newly released Agricultural Promotional Policy have on the theme of the IYD?
YIAGA: The new Agricultural Promotion Policy aims to achieve the Federal Government’s diversification agenda towards self sufficiency. The policy prioritizes improving productivity in a number of domestic crops and activities for sustainability. Agriculture can produce the capabilities Nigeria needs to create sustainable jobs and wealth. However, the social investment programs of the FG must also be aligned with the Agricultural Policy.
6) Do you think the present government has improved the sustainability of local production and consumption in the country?
YIAGA: There are no clear policies & programmes towards improving the sustainability of local production & consumption. The present government needs to expand, deepen, adjust and implement local production & consumption policies.
7) What necessary steps have the CSOs and youth groups taken to enhance the eradication of poverty in the nation?
YIAGA: CSOs and youth groups are promoting choices and actions among youths that empower them and lead to #sustainable lives. The #NotTooYoungToRun bill which aims to reduce the age for running for elective office will empower Nigerian youths. Youth inclusion and participation in development processes are vital to eradicating poverty & sustainable human development.
8) Does corruption in any way affect the eradication of poverty?
YIAGA: there is a strong correlation between corruption and poverty in Nigeria. Nigeria scores high in the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) and scores low in the Human Development Index (HDI). This implies that due to high corruption indices, investment in citizens’ welfare (poverty eradication) is low.
9) How do you think young people can support the eradication of poverty and sustainability of production and consumption?
YIAGA: Young people should initiate and lead programmes and activities towards #Agenda2030. Young people should be at the front line towards achieving #Agenda2030. In addition, they should engage and hold the government accountable.