From Beauty John, Lafia
Non Governmental Organizations, Global Peace Development (GPD), ActionAid Nigeria (ANN) and Beacon Youth Initiative (BYI) have trained stakeholders in Nasarawa state on budget tracking to ensure accountability and transparency.
Mr Esike Ebruke, the Executive Director of GPD, during the One – Day Policy Dialogue on Public Accountability” with the Civil Society and the media organisations on Thursday in Lafia, said the training was organized to ensure Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and the media work together to ensure budgets are used for what they are meant for, and accordingly.
Ebruke, while noting that there is a connection between infrastructural deficit and violent extremism, stressed that government should improve on its budgetary allocations to women and youths, so as to mitigate the rate of crime and criminality in the society, reason being that they are the enablers and major actors of violent Extremism.
“We have looked at the state budget and found that there are some budget challenges, particularly with the ministry of Women Affairs and Ministry of Youth and Sports Development which are the key pillars of our intervention, that young women and youths who will be at risk will be mitigated and this can not really happen when there are no proper budget provision to support their engagement.
“If you look at the state budget , it has 0.58% of the total percent of the total budget from the ministry of Woman Affairs and Ministry of youths . What it simply means is that if government and the private sectors begin to put more resources to create space of influential participation of youths in the implementation or even procurement those elements that have been budgeted for them , the youth will become more capable, they will have more financial influence and they will be able to become strong pillars for engagement and that will help to reduce their vulnerability
“As much as the government is doing their best, we think the government of the state needs to do more so that youths vulnerability are mitigated,” he added.
Dr Terfa Abraham, An economist and public policy analyst, in a paper he presented entitled “Analysis of public spending in the prevention of violent extremism in Nasarawa State”, evidence from 2021 appropriation law, said proper budget provision and implementation would reduce extremism.
Dr Abraham, He said that there was need for government to expand its public accessibility so that people could engage it to know what it doing per time, noting that information gap disconnect people from the Government.
He stressed that budgeting for young people, women and people living with disability as well as impactful projects rather than in blanket manner remain important to mitigate violent extremism.
The project officer for AAN, Mr Aliyu Adamu said the Sytem and Structure Stregthinning Approach Against Radicalisation and Violent Extremism (SARVE II), funded by Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF) has so far built structures such as Community Action and Response Team, establishment of Women and Girls Space, Peace Club, Establishment of state conflict management alliance (SCOMA), Empowerment of 1,500 women,Development of State Action Plan for the Domestication of UNSCR 1325 among others, in an effort to create enabling environment to address violent extremism in Nasarawa state.