CODE, ActionAid Holds Budget Town Hall Meeting in Kaduna, says Youths Participation Will Engender Ownership of Development

By Uangbaoje Alex, Kaduna

Connected Development otherwise known as CODE, has said that for Nigeria to have inclusive governance, young people must become active stakeholders, consulted and fully mobilized, so they can influence public choices of policies.

CODE, Chief Executive Director, Hamzat Lawal, who made the observation on Thursday at a town hall meeting with Government and Youths on Budgeting to foster Youth Focused Public Service Delivery in Kaduna state, organized by CODE in Partnership with ActionAid Nigeria, noted that such participation would engender ownership and resilience in development.

According to Hamzat, who was represented by CODE’s Program Lead, Lucy James, at the event, added that “young people should demand to participate fully in democratic governance space and public service delivery to ensure youth-focused public service delivery by saying ‘no to youth marginalization and exclusion’ in governance.”

“Young people must be active stakeholders, consulted and fully mobilized to influence public choices and implementing interventions to engender ownership and resilience in development agendas through quality public service and ensuring continuity and sustainability.”

He demanded that more investment in modern ICT infrastructure is indispensable for quality education and health for better learning and health outcomes.

He further said sports and recreational activities are other channels of youth empowerment and job creation that government must tap into.

Hamzat, therefore advised government to provide necessary specifics, locations and timelines of budgetary allocations to make monitoring, tracking and oversight easier.

Speaking with journalists, Zaliha Lawal, CODE’s Kaduna State Lead, said the essence of the meeting was to analyse the state budget as it affect the youths and identify grey areas and make relevant recommendations to agencies concerned.

“This budget analysis meeting is on inclusive education and how budget affects young people and vulnerable people in particular, so what we are doing here is to bring out grey areas and way forward on how government can have the budget to accommodate those group of people.

“To have a budget that looks into the plight of young people and also vulnerable people; here we are talking about people living with disabilities, people in the informal sector we are talking about women. We need to have a budget that specifically speak to this group of vulnerable people.” Zaliha added.

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