Youth, women Empowerment, Job Creation, antidotes To Violent Extremism- stakeholders

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Stakeholders at a one-day policy dialogue, organized by ActionAid Nigeria and it’s local rights partner, Participation Initiative for Behavioral Change in Development, (PIBCID) have said that the only way to prevent Violence Extremism is for the government at all levels to focus on constructive youth engagement, women empowerment and job creation.

Making the position of stakeholders known at the end of the one-day policy dialogue consisting of civil society organizations and the media, the Resilience and Programme Coordinator of the SARVE 11 project, Anicetu Atakpu advocated that government expenditures should be targeted at providing access to public services such as creation jobs, and empowering young persons and vulnerable in the society, to reduce poverty and criminalities in the land.

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Atakpu is the Team Lead of the Serve 11 Project for ActionAid, in Conjunction with Participation Initiative for Behavioural Change in Development, (PIBCID) with funding from Global Community Engagement and Resilience Funds, (GCERF).

Atakpu listed issues of unemployment, perceived marginalization and illiteracy as issues government must address using the annual budget.

He maintained that focus on Projects that are geared towards addressing infrastructure gaps, human and capital development would be useful disincentives to violent extremism.

Analysing public spending in the prevention of violent extremism in Kogi and Nasarawa State, Atakpu lamented situation where funding governance took a large chunk of the Kogi State 2021 budget with 18.06% as against 3.24% allocated to entrepreneurship and youth engagement who key drivers of violent extremism.

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The Resillience Programme Coordinator also lamented a N100m allocation for Youth Development under the governor’s office in Kogi State in the 2021 budget, wondered why the funding should be under the governor’s office and not the Ministry of Youth and Sports.

He expressed worries that allocation to women and youths in 2021 is a paltry sum of 1.32% of the total budget as against 1.79% renovation work in the offices of the governor and his deputy.

He noted that projects targeted at empowering of youth and women in agriculture, as well as engaging opportunities in entrepreneurship would turn the attention of young people from acts of violent extremism.

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He called for budget allocation to physically challenged who are also drivers of violent extremism, stressing that engagement by the media should be such that will help in the fight against violent extremism.

Earlier in a welcome remarks, Halima Sadiq, Executive Director of Participation Initiative for Behavioural Change in Development, (PIBCID), said the one- day dialogue was aimed at budget funding, tracking allocation, and spending geared towards preventing violent extremism in Kogi State.

She explained that the dialogue seeks to look at actual budgetary allocation and releases as drivers of violent extremism




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