Sat. Jul 20th, 2024

Nigeria: Conduct Needs Assessment Of Youths Population, Establish Ministry – Youthgovtracka Tasks KDSG

By Joy Gadani

The Youthgovtracka team of the project of Brain Builders Youth Initiative, has asked the Kaduna State Government to establish a youth ministry, with a young person of 35 years and below as the commissioner.

The team also wants the government to conduct needs assessment of the youth population and create programmes that aligns to their needs.

These demands are part of the communique issued after the team’s visit to the State Ministry of Human Services and Social Development

COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF PARTNERSHIP VISIT TO THE DIRECTOR YOUTHS, MINISTRY OF HUMAN SERVICES AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT BY MEMBERS OF THE YOUTHGOVTRACKA TEAM A PROJECT OF BRAIN BUILDERS YOUTH DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVE.

The partnership meeting to the office of the Director Youths at the Kaduna State Ministry of Human Services and Social Development is the second visit by members of the YouthGovTracka Team in Kaduna. The YouthGovTracka is a Project of the Brain Builders Youth Development Initiative aimed at facilitating Youth-led engagement towards fostering accountability and Youth inclusion in governance.

Background
The campaign manifesto of Senator Uba Sani stated that “Young people are the largest demographic in Kaduna State. The vigour, attitude and brains of our young persons are critical to the future of our state. Young people have played critical roles in delivering many of the successes recorded in the state since 2015. Our duty is to build more youth talent and sustain the promotion of equal opportunity for all. From sports to education, skills development and health, our programmes will build and support the ability of young people to thrive”. Highlighting job creation programmes like the Kaduna Start-up Entrepreneurship Programme (KADSTEP) and the Kaduna Artisan Development Academy (KADAT) promoting job creation by maintaining the comprehensive attention paid to promote the ease of doing business in the state.
Concerns:
• There is no budgetary allocation for the Kaduna Start-up Entrepreneurship Programme (KADSTEP); counterpart funding in the 2024 budget despite being captured as one of the items on the manifesto.
• The absence of youth ministry in the State creates a gap between youth population and the government; limiting implementation of youth-focused policies and programme.
• No implementation framework of the National Youth Policy, and low awareness on the existence of the policy.
• Absence of youth staff at the Youth Department
• Young persons between 15-35 years are still at the dependency age in the state due to high unemployment and low skills.
• The department of youths has just two direct items on the 2024 budget; the Supplementary support to NYSC and the creation of the Youth Parliament.
• The Kashima Ibrahim Fellowship has been on hold since 2023, yet there is a (#172,986,916.50) 2024 budgetary allocation for its operationalization.
Recommendations
• Prioritizing education and empowerment of young people is key converting the population from dependency stage into becoming sustainable assets
• Establish a youth ministry, with a young person 35 years and below as the commissioner.
• Conduct a needs of the youth poptulation and create programmes that aligns to their needs.
• Partner to mobilize support for the actualization of the youth development agenda
• Budgetary allocation for youth empowerment must translate from mere activities to result driven empowerment initiatives.
• Create an enabling environment for young decision makers and active-useful members of society
• Invest in youth capital development and empowerment
• Youths programmes should be led by young persons in the state
• There should be a separate budgetary allocation for youths from women’s programmes.

Conclusion
Investing in the youth population is not just a strategic decision; it’s an imperative for shaping a brighter future for generations to come. With nearly half of the global population under the age of 30, the potential of youth cannot be overstated. By investing in their education, health, employment, and leadership, we sow the seeds of progress and prosperity that will yield dividends for societies and economies worldwide. Empowering young people to advocate for their rights, drive social change, and shape policies leads to more inclusive and equitable societies.

Signed:
Joy Gadani,
Youth Focal Person,
YouthGovTracka, Kaduna

Richard Dambo,
The Peace Institute,
Kaduna
Member, YouthGovTracka Kaduna.

Josephine Bitsak Mark
Secretary,
African Youth Union Commission,
Kaduna State Chapter
Member YouthGovTracka, Kaduna

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