Promad Foundation, a civic tech nonprofit organisation, has called for the domestication of the National Youth Policy (NYP) 2019-2023 by the remaining 34 states for effective youth civic participation.
Mr Daisi Omokungbe, Founder and Executive Director of Promad Foundation, made the call at a news conference to launch a Research Policy Memo on Accelerating Youth Civic participation and Development said only Lagos and Rivers have domesticated.
Omokungbe said that the research launched by Promad Foundation was with support from LEAP Africa and the Nigeria Youth Futures Fund (NYFF) in Abuja.
He said that the call for nationwide domestication of the NYP was imperative following the implementation of the foundation’s Accelerating Youth Civic Participation and Development (AYCP) project in FCT.
He said that the project was a youth component of the foundation’s Grassroots Advocacy Project (GRAB) that focused on community needs assessment for budget making, enhancing citizens’ opportunity to nominate projects that meet the needs of their communities into the budget.
“AYCP project attracted educated and mobilised youth across the six area councils for civic participation such as in the 2023 general elections, collection of community and youth needs assessment data.
“They were empowered to track projects in their communities to drive participatory and accountable governance in the pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) and #TheNigeriaWeWant.
“We have engaged young people at community levels and held town hall meetings ,we conducted survey on youth civic participation and development challenges through the deployment of our home-grown civic-tech needs assessment platform http://grap.org.ng.
“It targets young people mostly at the grassrrots ,as well as qualitative interviews among others which led to the production of this research policy memo.’’
Omokungbe said that the policy memo examined youth civic participation and development in the nation’s capital ,it assessed youth related issues and grouped the findings into three major categories.
He said they were :access to economic power,civic and political participation and inclusion ,and youth and electoral violence.
He said that the policy document itemized issues affecting youth civic participation in the FCT which spurred participation of youths in the 2023 elections.
“This is part of our contributions to leading new policy advocacy for young people’s inclusion and empowerment to play new roles in the Nigeria we want as a new administration will take off.’’
Omokungbe said based on the forgoing ,there was need for empowerment schemes to address youth needs and priorities.
He added that youths must be at the front and centre of their budget formation adding that there should be a budgeting framework that allows youths to nominate the projects and programmes they need according to their collective priorities in the budget .
He added that young people must organise to pursue their cause and the government and leaders understand that youths are the majority and they can achieve anything they want in togetherness.
He called for the need to leave no youth behind and also called for increased funding for education and innovative programmes because a well-educated youth is important in achieving the SDGs.
Mr Afolabi Kolawole, NYFF Grants Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist, said that the needs assessment was important for the development sector ,government and other stakeholders for proper planning .
Kolawole said that youth inclusion and empowerment would enhance development adding that the reasech document would help for proper intervention in youths issues.
“What Promad Foundation has done will help Federal Government work for youth development in Nigeria, and carry youths along to contribute to national development,” he said.
Mr Haruna Godiya, Programmes Coordinator LEAP Africa, commended the work done by Promad Foundation by using data to drive home issues around youth civic participation
Godiya said that the research to light the challenges faced by youths and how they could be tackled in the FCT and beyond .
He said that the document would be used as an advocacy tool for the federal government as well as for states to adopt the NYP among others.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the NYP represents a declaration and commitment to the priorities, directions and practical supports that a country intends to provide for the development of its young men and women.
It is a concrete and bold step to put the development and participation of youth at the center of national development efforts.
It is indicative of the readiness of the Government and people of Nigeria to meet the needs and aspirations of the youth as well as seek a solution to their problems.
It sets guidelines and provides the framework for all stakeholders to empower the youth to realise their potentialities and take advantage of the opportunities available to make positive contributions to the well-being of their communities across the entire country.