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Covid-19: Group Advocates Support for Affected Youths

The Nigeria Youth Compact on COVID-19 (NYC-COVID), has urged governments at all levels and development partners to support youths, whose means of livelihood was affected by COVID-19 across the country.

National Coordinator of the organisation, Mr Gambo Suleiman-Haruna, made the call in an interview with newsmen in Kaduna on Friday.

Suleiman-Haruna said that the oganisation had in 2020 began generating a database of 10 million youths who lost their source of income and become poorer due to the hash economic impact of COVID-19 across the 774 local governments areas in the country.

This, according to him, will go a long way in getting the youth involved in COVID – 19 responses and support governments in mitigating impact of the pandemic, particularly on the youth.

“We are expected to generate a data base of 10 million Nigerian youth affected by the pandemic to inform government, development partners and stakeholders in response to the pandemic as it affects the youth.

“Without this data, there is little or nothing that can be done to reach out to the youth who are the worst hit by the pandemic,” he said.

He added that so far, 3.96 million have been captured into the database across the 774 local government areas in the country of which 187,848 were captured in Kaduna State.

He said that more than 20,000 youths had been trained in partnership with the Nigeria Youth Chamber of Commerce on how to access Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) COVID-19 loans.

According to him, the loans are being provided by the apex CBN through the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) Microfinance Bank.

The national coordinator, however, complained that most of the youths were yet to access any form of intervention from governments and other development partners.

In spite efforts to ensure that those affected by the pandemic received some form of assistance, we are worried that several youths in our database, who truly need this loan, are yet to benefit.

“To bridge this gap, we have just concluded a two-day International Conference in Kaduna State to prepare the youths for post COVID-19 and share information about various interventions being provided by the Federal Government,” he said.

He commended the Kaduna State Chapter of the group for organising the conference with the theme, “Voice of the Nigeria Youth on COVID-19’’.

He said that NYC-COVID had become a stronger voice for the Nigeria youth and a beacon of hope for several others who could not find their voice in the ravaging economy caused by the pandemic.

He appealed to NIRSAL Microfinance Bank to consider youths whose business and source of income were affected by the pandemic when disbursing the CBN loans.

According to him, the youths constitute a larger proportion of Nigeria’s population, and young people need to be supported to survive COVID-19 economic crises.

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