As part of measures to invest more in youth leadership and development, the house of representatives committee on youth development has also vowed to take legislative action to provide a legal framework for youth development to fast-track the implementation of the new national youth policy. Through legislation and oversight, the committee will ensure the constitution of the National Youth Development Council, National Council on Youth Development as well as promote legislation focused on the Strategic Thrusts and Policy Benchmarks of the National Youth Policy 2019.

This was revealed by Chairman of house committee on youth development Honorable Yemi Adaramodu during a two-day retreat organized by Yiaga Africa with support of the European Union. During the retreat aimed at understanding the mandate of the committee as well as youth development in Nigeria, the chairman disagreed that youths were not in leadership positions because the country’s politics was monetized.

According to him, “power is never served a la carte. You cannot sit at home and expect leadership to fall on your laps. Leadership itself is not about legislation, it is about preparedness.”  He explained that youths could endear themselves to their communities by contributing to development.

“If as a youth you have been participating in community development activities and people have been seeing you mentoring the younger ones, when the time comes and you want to become a councillor or a chairman, it is those people that will queue behind you.

“But if you sit down somewhere and you have never been involved in community development and nobody knows you, you will pay to buy yourself identity. Nobody collects money from you if they know you,” he added.

The retreat also witnessed the presentation of finding of the 2020 Appropriation Act from the youth perspective and addressing the strategies and tools for effective legislative oversight on youth development policies and programs. During the presentation by Dr. Terfa Abraham from Nigerian Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS), he said that, leaving the budget to create jobs for youths as an auto-pilot will not work unless it is done through deliberate intervention i.e using programs to monitor and evaluate. Dr. Terfa further highlighted ways to ensure youth responsive budgeting.

Similarly, Dr. Jake Azumi, Senior Research Fellow, Nigerian Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS) highlighted strategies and tools for effective Legislative oversight on Youth Development Policies and Programs. In his presentation, revealed that one of the most important things to note when dealing with youth development is that, youth have right and should not be trampled upon. He stated that, oversight is about checking, examining, criticising, ensuring, challenging, questioning and calling to account which makes it important to youth development.

In the wake of biting unemployment and poverty affecting youths, the House of representatives committee on youth development also called for the declaration of state of emergency on youth development in Nigeria. In furtherance of this, the committee has also resolved to take legislative actions to resuscitate Youth Development Centers across the country and promote vocational training to encourage youth entrepreneurship in the country.

This was contained in a communique released to the press at the end of a two-day legislative retreat in Lagos where the committee reiterated its commitment to fulfil its mandate of ensuring youth development across the country through legislative actions.

According to the communique released on Thursday, the 9-man committee chaired by Hon. Yemi Adaramodu Hon. Ari Mohammed Abdulmumin, the discussion focused on the fact that national development and integration is predicated on the youths who are the bedrock and building blocks of development, thus the committee will henceforth, deploy its legislative powers and functions to ensure that all national development  programmes, policies and projects accord priority to issues of youth development.

The committee also recommended an urgent need to ensure political inclusion of Nigerian youths in electoral and political processes as a catalyst for social transformation and national development. “To this end, the committee will leverage on the ongoing amendment of the 1999 Constitution and the 2010 Electoral Act to advocate for amendments that guarantee the political inclusion of Nigerian youths”, it reads.

“That while noting the progress achieved through the ‘Not Too Young to Run’ law, there’s an urgent need to ensure political inclusion of Nigerian youths in electoral and political processes as a catalyst for social transformation and national development.”

“To this end, the committee will leverage on the ongoing amendment of the 1999 Constitution and the 2010 Electoral Act to advocate for amendments that guarantee the political inclusion of Nigerian youths.

Particularly, the Committee may propose legislation for further reduction in the age requirement for the positions of governorship and membership of the Senate which were not reduced in the previous constitution review process amendment.”

They also lamented the unemployment and poverty rate saying it remains a huge problem affecting Nigerian youth. In this vein, the committee calls for an urgent declaration of state of emergency on youth development in the country. In furtherance of this, the   committee will take legislative actions to resuscitate Youth Development Centers across the country and promote vocational training to encourage youth entrepreneurship in the country.

 

Read Full Communique HERE