The Oxford Committee for Famine Relief-funded Work in Progress project currently implemented by its partner, Chioma Chuka Consulting Services Ltd, have launched a campaign to ask the Nigerian Government to commence the full implementation of the National Youth Policy.
The #BeingYoungInNigeria campaign will also petition the government to call for urgent action to ensure the promises of the policy along its key strategic thrusts are duly implemented.
The implementation of the youth policy, which is to kick off from 2019 – 2023, is yet to receive any attention from the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government.
The #BeingYoungInNigeria campaign is to make the government create employment opportunities, a safe and suitable environment, and positive expectations about the future for young Nigerians through the implementation of the National Youth Policy.
The project Lead, Princewill Ogbodo, addressing journalists in a virtual press briefing on Monday, said the project will also seek to amplify the voices and demands of Nigerian youth from the government.
“The project also underscores the need to engage government stakeholders on youth-oriented policies via collaborations with youth-led bodies, key government agencies and policy makers to achieve global action,” he said.
In her remarks, Tope Salami, a Technical Program Assistant with CCCSL – the implementing partner, noted that the purpose of the media engagement was to sensitise the public about the challenges young people in Nigeria faced and also present to the public a petition for active implementation of the National Youth Policy.
She revealed that a policy brief document titled ‘Reimagining Being Young in Nigeria’ would be made available to the public by the end of November.
Highlighting the urgency of the implementation of the National Youth Policy, Salami referenced statistics from the National Bureau of Statistics including that one in four girls will experience sexual violence before their 18th birthday while over 13.9 million youth are currently unemployed.
“Additionally, with one% of young people aged 15-29 occupying elected offices, and just over 75% literacy rates amongst this demographic in 2018 according to the World Bank’s development indicators, the National Youth Policy is due for a review and expedited implementation,” she added.
The National Youth Policy was last reviewed in 2018 and it seeks to create a safe and secure environment that will optimize their contributions to national development.
The policy represents a declaration and commitment to the priorities, directions and practical supports for the development of young people in Nigeria.
The document outlines concrete and bold steps to put the development and participation of youth at the centre of national development efforts.