By; IBRAHIM ADAMU, Kaduna
In its quest to effectively deliver dividends of democracy, Kaduna State Government has once again harped on importance of youth inclusiveness in governance as panacea for transparency and accountability.
This was the position of the Commissioner for Planning and Budget, Mukhtar Ahmed Monrovia at an engagement over the weekend in Kaduna to create awareness on youth participation in politics and governance organized by Open Gov Youth Innovation Hub and Partnership To Engage, Reform and Learn with the support of the United Kingdom.
The commissioner, represented by Tara Jeremiah, Point Of Contact (POC) Open Government Partnership Kaduna State said since the launching of OGP Strategy by United Nations in 2011, key achievements have been recorded globally in promoting transparency and accountability in governance and above all, youth involvement in areas of policy and execution.
He noted that key strategic plans have been implemented by the state government in its drive to enhance timely delivery of infrastructure and improve lives of citizens.
“Since 2018 when 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 what it entails.
“The principles shall be continuously adhered to for the good, progress and development of our communities,” he said.
Earlier, in his remarks, facilitator of the programme 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 youth, due to their significant numbers, should have the leverage of determining the swinging direction of the pendulum in relation to governance.
Goje insisted that the youth by virtue of their numerical strength, should not be walked over by policy makers, expressing optimism that government of the youth, by the youth and for the youth would strengthen youth innovation and contributions in 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 passive nature of Nigerian youth in engaging actively with their elected representatives in order to ensure delivery of campaign promises.
“This is our motivation of engaging young people from the academia to instill sustainable interest in them to get to decision-making table of policies and governance.
“We have a legal framework in section 14 of 1999 Constitution which spells out citizens participation in governance and decision-making processes.
“We have participants drawn from Kaduna State University, Kaduna Polytechnic, AFIT among others because participation in governance is not taught in schools, which makes our young graduates vulnerable to 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 getting involved in policymaking process.
Grassroots governance advocate, Sumayya Abdullahi Rigasa added her voice by calling on the female gender to leverage on the opportunity provided by civil societies to increase the number of women 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.