Youths council lauds UNFPA’s support

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By Philip Yatai

The National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), Kaduna State chapter, has commended the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) for supporting youth development initiatives in Kaduna State.

The Chairman of the council, Mr Bagudu Nathaniel, gave the commendation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna on Sunday.

Nathaniel particularly commended UNFPA for supporting the development of the state’s Youth and Policy and Implementation Plan.

He described the efforts as “crucial” in addressing the myriad of challenges affecting youth development and how to harness their potential for the development of the state.

According to Nathaniel, the policy, if well implemented, will ease the stress of young people, particularly on issues around education, peace building and youth empowerment in urban and rural communities.

He added that UNFPA interventions in Kaduna State helped to bring youths to the discussion table on issues that affect them.

“This action is addressing the exclusion of youths in decision-making and the governance process because most of the youths’ programmes and plans were being developed and implemented without inputs from the youths.

“This has been creating a gap between young people and the government, but we are glad that UNFPA interventions are helping to address this problem.”

The chairman also stressed the need to carry young people in rural areas along in the life-changing interventions being supported by the UNFPA in the state.

This is because the selection criteria for some of the youth-focused interventions put those in rural areas at disadvantage, particularly bothering on access to internet and other communication technology facilities.

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Nathaniel called for massive sensitisation on the policy to understand the significance of the policy and how they can key in.

“We have to stand for the disadvantaged-young people who have no access to internet facilities; the implementation plan is on ground thank God for UNFPA, but sensitisation is key to ensure robust implementation.

“The youth need to know about the policy, and how they can contribute to its implementation.”

The Head of Office, UNFPA Kaduna Sub-Office, Ms Loide Amkongo, said that the UN Fund’s focus on young people is critical to ensure that youth potential are fulfilled.

She said “as our future leaders, we are investing in them through leadership and empowerment in all our transformative results.

“The transformative results are contributing to ending unmet need for family planning services, contributing to preventable maternal death and ending GBV.”

Also, Dr Elvis Evborein, the Reproductive Health Analyst, UNFPA, added that UNFPA supported the state government to launch and disseminate its Adolescent Health and Development Policy

Evborein explained that the goal of the policy is to mainstream youths into governance process and other activities of the state.

“We also work with some youths to ensure that they are able to express themselves and speak out on issues that concern them,” he said. (NAN)

Edited by Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu

Philip Daniel Yatai

Principal Correspondent, NAN Abuja

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