Kaduna Govt Harps on Youth Inclusiveness in Governance
By: Femi Mustapha
The Kaduna State Government has emphasized youth inclusiveness in governance as a panacea for transparency and accountability.
The State Commissioner for Planning and Budget Commission, Mukhtar Ahmed Monrovia, asserted this during an engagement to create awareness of youth participation in politics and governance.
The commissioner, represented by Tara Jeremiah, Point Of Contact (POC) Open Government Partnership Kaduna State, said that since the launching of the OGP Strategy by the United Nations in 2011, key achievements had been recorded globally in promoting transparency and accountability in governance and, above all, youth involvement in areas of policies and executions.
He noted that key strategic plans had been implemented by the state government in her drive to enhance the timely delivery of infrastructures and improve the lives of citizens.
“Since 2018 when the Kaduna State Government joined the OGP initiative, remarkable feats and progress have been made.
“We have fully implemented our 2021-2023 Action Plan, the Second, and are earnestly preparing for the third one which I assure you will give teeth to an overall goal of the essence of open governance and all that it entails.
“The principles shall be continuously adhered to for the good, progress, and development of our communities.
A member of the OGP innovation hub, Mr. Seth Luke, said the essence of the hub is to expand the knowledge of OGP by leveraging on youth from different institutions around and also encourage youth to get involved with governance issues.
According to Mr. Luke, when it comes to demography, the youth are more in number, but have minimal involvement in government. He added that with the introduction of the OGP innovation hub, youth will get more involved with government processes as the hub will make available necessary platforms and materials to help foster involvement.
The Facilitator of the program organized by Open Gov Youth Innovation Hub, supported by Partnership to Engage Reform and Learn (PERL), a Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO), a UK-supported governance, Yusuf Ishaku Goje, stressed the need for youth to be active in governance, saying it would go a long way in ensuring a better deal for the general populace.
He said the youth, due to their significant number, should have the leverage of determining the swinging direction of the pendulum about governance.
Goje insisted that the youth, by their numerical strength, should not be walked over by policymakers, expressing optimism that the government of the youth, by the youth, and for the youth would strengthen youth innovation and contributions to governance.
He charged young people to get involved in processes of budget initiation, planning, and implementation as an opportunity to change the course of history.
Another facilitator of the OGP, Mubarak AbdulGaniyu, decried the passive nature of Nigerian youth in engaging actively with their elected representatives to ensure the delivery of campaign promises.
“This is our motivation for engaging young people from the academia to instill sustainable interest in them to get to the decision-making table of policies and governance.
“We have a legal framework in section 14 of the 1999 Constitution, which spells out citizens’ participation in governance and decision-making processes.
“We have participants drawn from the Kaduna State University, Kaduna Polytechnic, and AFIT among others because participation in governance is not taught in school, which makes our young graduates vulnerable to the effects of bad governance within their respective communities.
“We want to change the narratives and negative trends of lack of participation by citizens in governance by creating awareness that could be sustained of making young people see the imperative to get involved in the policymaking process.
Grassroots governance advocate Sumayya Abdullahi Rigasa added her voice to the call for the female gender to leverage the opportunity provided by civil societies to increase the number of women’s participation in politics and governance.
She said women could no longer be relegated to the background in the scheme of affairs in the country, adding that with their significant number, they could decide their future and those of their children.