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Yiaga Africa pledges support to House of Representatives on Youth Development in Nigeria

Yiaga Africa has pledged its support to the House of Representatives Committee on Youth Development to enable it achieve its mandate of helping young Nigerians attain their fullest potential.

Members of the committee during a session at the retreat

This was disclosed by the Coordinator, Yiaga Africa Centre for Legislative Engagement, Dr. Sam Oguche at the opening of a retreat for members of the committee which was organised by Yiaga Africa with support from the European Union through its Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria [EU-SDGN] project.

Dr. Oguche in his x-raying of the objectives of the retreat, said that the youth matters remain key in sustainable development. He added that youths should be leaders of today and not tomorrow, pointing to how the “Not Too Young to Run Law” had increased the involvement of youths in decision-making processes.

“Having young people in government is one thing, justifying and sustaining it is another thing. The challenges of the youths today are enormous,” he said.

Dr Sam Oguche

He further said that the responsibility before the committee was huge and they cannot do it alone without partnership and support. 

According to him, the retreat will look at issues around youth development in Nigeria, what the challenges are and what can be done. He added that the retreat would look at the role of the legislature in youths development in terms of law-making, representation and oversights.

In his own remarks, the Chairman of the Committee, Honourable Martins Esin (Oron/Mbo/Okobo/Udung Uko/Urue Offong Oruko Federal constituency – Akwa Ibom) said the nation cannot drive skill development without having a budget that is youth responsive.

The lawmaker said the nation cannot drive skill development “without having a budget that is youth responsive”.

“We need a youth-responsive budget. We want to see a situation where the government is committing a significant amount specifically for youth development. This is the major thing we are driving at,” he said.

Hon Martins Esin

“As a parliament, we feel improving the skill development capacity of the youth of this country is the way to go. We want to drive that with a youth-responsive budget. We want to see a significant jump in what is appropriate for the youth of this country,” he added.

Another member of the committee, Honourable Marcus Onobun ( Esan West/Esan Central/ Igueben Federal Constituency – Edo State) described Yiaga Africa as the face and voice of the youths he urged the centre not to relent on its crave for the betterment of the teeming youth population in Nigeria.

Hon Marcus Onobun

Also in attendance at the retreat was the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Citizenship & Leadership, Rinsola Abiola, who spoke about the need to deepen youth development in Nigeria with an emphasis on leadership training in order to develop excellent young leaders who will be able to better participate in nation-building.

Rinsola Abiola, SSA to the President on Citizenship and Leadership.

The two-day retreat included technical sessions and discussions on topics such as “Overview of the House Committee on Youth Development”; “Youth Development in Nigeria-the State of Play”; and “the Effective Legislative Oversight on Youth Development in Nigeria. 

Members engaging after the retreat

The retreat is part of Yiaga Africa’s support to strengthening legislatures with particular focus on youth, women and persons with disabilities and is supported by the EU-SDGN project.

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