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Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Actionaid Advocates Budget Increase for Women, Youth 

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Nathaniel Gbaoron, Lafia 

Actionaid Nigeria has advocated for budgetary increase for both the women and youth in their respective ministries to reduce restiveness and violence extremism among them in Nasarawa state.

The Executive Director Global Peace Development and Convener of Nasarawa State Conflict Management Alliance, Ebruke Onajite Esike, disclosed this in Lafia, at the two day State Conflict Management Alliance (SCOMA), training organized by Actionaid Nigeria In collaboration with global peace development, with funding from Global Community Engagement Resilience Funds (GCERF).

Esike explained that over 95 percent of the budget in the ministry of Youths and sports goes to procurement or renovation of sporting facilities thereby causing a set back to the youths who are merged in the ministry.

According to the Director, the NGO saw the vulnerability of both women and Youth who form a larger part of the society, hence the advocacy for budgetary increment for both groups in the two ministries.

Earlier while mentioning the achievements of the NGO in Nasarawa state for the past three years, Esike said “we initiated the Nasarawa state action plan in line with the bill that was signed into law in August 2020 by the executive governor of Nasarawa state, that’s one major milestone. We have also supported the initiation of the Youth Development bill which is in the second reading, still waiting for the house of assembly to pass it into law.

“Apart from that we have been able to train 750 youths and cluster them into Cooperative societies and they have also been supported with starter packs.

“Again we supported 500 women with integrated rice mills so they can now produce and make money so that they will Shun violence extremism in their respective environments. We have also talked to the state government to increase funding to the ministry of Youth and women affairs and we expect that if the budget is out you will see the impact in respect to budgetary increase that will take care of the women and youth,” Esike said.

The Convener of Nasarawa state conflict management Alliance said the workshop which brought together people from all strata of life was aimed at educating the people on how to manage conflicts in their respective areas and organizations.

“Membership of this committee is composed of multiple stakeholders and they are from different agencies. As you can see, from the participation and participants today, we have the Nigeria police, the DSS, NSCDC and other sister security agencies. Even public administrators, the emirate, religious bodies, community leaders, people with disabilities, women groups and youth groups are all here.”

“So every strata of the society are represented in this meeting, even the national union of road transport workers. You will agree with me that in groups people know how to engage other people to bring everybody together so from there we can collect early warning information before it escalates into violence.

“That’s why we brought them together for them to have more strong knowledge to be better enhanced so that early warning information is collected and properly managed in Nasarawa state.”

In his speech, Anicetus Atakpu, the resilience programme coordinator, Actionaid Nigeria, said “today we have come to support the capacity of Nasarawa state conflict Alliance. Is a structure that is put together to support security and peace building initiatives in Nasarawa state. The only Idea is to include the voices of the common man and civil society in the security council.”

Some of the participants at the training expressed hope that with the knowledge acquired it will spur them to excel in curbing violence extremism.

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