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Policy Brief on Youth & Gender Responsiveness in State Budgeting

The focus of youth development programmes in Nigeria have gone through various phases since the 1960s. While the Ministry of Youth and Sports plays a major role in initiating and implementing the policies targeted at enhancing outcomes for youths, various administrations complemented the process using Social Programmes such as YouWin (Youth Enterprise with Innovation in Nigeria) and the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP). Other programmes under the NSIP are: the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT), the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP), and the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP).

New innovations have been put in place by the government to address youth unemployment, have better access to credit and enhance young person’s inclusion in the political space. This include programmes that were put in place to in the context of the global sustainable goals (SDGs), the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP, 2017 – 2020), the Economic Sustainability Plane (ESP) and the Presidential Youth Empower Scheme (PYES).

The 2019 National Youth Policy also identifies strategic policy thrusts for achieving the stated goals of the National Youth Policy. The policy thrusts are: Productive Workforce and Sustainable Economic Engagement of Youth; Participation, inclusiveness and equitable opportunities for all Youth; Promotive and Protective Environment for Youth Development; Health and Health-Promoting Lifestyle; and Partnership-building and effective collaboration. Under the productive workforce and sustainable policy thrusts, the targets are grouped into four:

  • Education, capacity-building and skills
  • development;
  • Employment creation and
  • entrepreneurship;
  • Youth in Agriculture; and
  • Youth and ICT.

Other programmes put in place by the government to address Youth employment include the Special Public Works (SPW) programme and the Nigerian Youth Investment Fund (NYIF). The Special Public Works (SPW) programme seeks to empower about 750,000 young unemployed persons a three month job placement at the local government level with a monthly salary of 20,000 naira. On the other hand, the Nigerian Youth Investment Fund (NYIF) is an initiative of the federal ministry of youth and sports development that is funded by the Central Bank of Nigeria. The scheme seeks to expand access to finance for youths to enable them build businesses that will create jobs. The plan targets young people between the ages of 18 – 35 years and is to run for the period 2020 – 2023.

As with previous years, total Federal Government Expenditure has continued to increase. Sadly, this has been accompanied by a rising youth unemployment, poverty and exclusion especially for young people. How positioned the 2021 Budget of Federal Government is in empowering and raising the livelihood of young people, is the focus of this report. Evidence is also drawn from five states across the country: Akwa Ibom, Borno, Enugu, Kaduna and Lagos States.

The analysis examines the 2021 budget of Akwa Ibom, Borno, Enugu, Kaduna and Lagos State priority for youth development and youth responsive public service delivery. It also examines if the budget is responsive to the needs and priorities of young people relative to the 2020 budget.

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Yiaga Africa is a non-profit civic hub of change makers committed to the promotion of democratic governance, human rights and civic engagement. With its operational base in Abuja, Nigeria, Yiaga Africa focuses on in-depth research, providing critical analysis on key democratic and governance issues, crafting practical solutions, training and empowering citizens to lead change in their community. Yiaga Africa implements several innovative programs aimed at stimulating active citizenship, protecting human rights and deepening democratic governance. We invest in building networks and social movements to drive social change and transformation. Yiaga Africa has leadership structures and members in all 36 states and 774 Local Government Areas (LGA) of Nigeria.