Young Nigerians are tired. We are tired of exclusionary politics that dangles the prospect of a truly level playing field but never delivers. We are tired of having to leave the country to guarantee a better life for ourselves. We are tired of our voices being suppressed or ignored.
We cannot overemphasize the subject of youth inclusiveness in all spheres of the political economy. Inclusiveness has brought about major strides in the technology and finance industries, increasing revenue and lifting people out of poverty. But even these
new frontiers are already being stifled by government policies that are archaic and reactionary. We all need to be actively involved in reversing this.
The extant emphasis on the need for them to be involved in politics is also to encourage their participation in the policymaking process. Yet even now, there is a need for a new conversation or dialogue on the roles young people would be playing in this new dispensation. How can young people harness global opportunities that will engender development for the country as a whole? This dialogue would entail a new direction tailored to local relevance and global competitiveness, especially for young and emerging leaders.
It is for this reason that The Future Project will host its fifth edition day symposium to further complement the media advocacy on www.YMonitor.org which is directed at active citizenship and responsible governance.
The event is themed “Turning the Curve: Aligning government policy to our realities” and it aims to lead a new conversation on government performance and citizens’ social reality
The symposium is split into three panels; the first – All policy, no impact: Something has to give.
Here’s a summary of the conversation that will be had:
In sub-Sahara Africa, the government falls short of creating an enabling an environment that would unleash the enterprise potentials of citizens to contribute to economic development, their plans when prepared does not transcend into a better reality for the citizens. What are the plans for this administration, the ministries, how dynamic are these plans, how can these plans impact on the present realities of the citizens? How do we merge government plans to fit into the expectations of the people and how does this affects young and emerging leaders? How does key strategic government ministries regulate the economic space and how to have their policies impacted the industry. Industries respond to the policies of regulating ministries, but most times there is usually a disconnect between the regulating ministries and industries. Policies are supposed to be dynamic and responsive to global changes as it affects the industrial sector. It is important that strategic ministries that directly interface with the citizens give us a pointer to the policy direction of this administration and how it will impact our realities.
The day’s second panel will revolve the seemingly endless scourge of insecurity; — How do you fix a problem like chronic insecurity?
There is no nation that can develop in an atmosphere of insecurity. There is a need for a national dialogue or debate on the state of security of lives and properties in the country. This is particularly important at a time when it seems the government has come to the end of her wit in addressing the situation. The terrorism in the northeast has not abated, the middle belt is still being plagued by farmers/herders crisis, and we have in our hands, incessant killings and attacks by bandits in the Northwest, especially Zamfara state. The security situation has led to capital flight from the areas affected and has also reduced the production of food and other agricultural produce, which then leads to increased prices. We are also not forgetting the southern Kaduna killings which seem to have defiled solution. Is there a better way of looking at the security challenge? what are we missing?
The day’s final panel turns its focus on the Nigerian legislature and will question its success as the voice of the people; – Will the People’s Legislature please stand up.
Elected representatives especially those at the National Assembly are seldom grilled on the question of how they have been able to deliver or facilitate the delivery of public goods to their constituents.
In every democratic space, the legislature is pivotal to the development of democratic institutions and values as well as critical to amplifying the voice of citizens within the corridor of power. The legislature is critical to distilling values of good governance to every citizen, it is a custodian of the commonwealth and pivotal to National development. There is however need for a discourse on the extent to which the National Assembly since its inception in 1999 has contributed to the development of the country, how effective as the National Assembly has been, how responsive and responsible has it been in the face of critical national challenges? from the first Assembly to this new Ninth Assembly, can we rightly say that the Legislature has left up to expectations, what kind of legislature do we really need, what does an ideal legislation mean?
The National Symposium is a way to get our voices heard and our questions answered, it would be a shame if we didnt take advantage of it.
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Temidayo Taiwo-Sidiq is a Political Journalist, Analyst and Social Change Advocate with major interest in Nigerian Politics, Governance and Sports.