By Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Benue State youths have called on the state government to, as matter of urgency, sponsor a bill for a Law to establish Benue State Youth Development Commission.
This formed part of the resolutions reached at the end of the three-day youth summit held at the Aper Aku Stadium from Wednesday to Friday this week.
The youths said the youth commission should be established as a separate entity away from the Ministry of Youth and Sports, where attention is more given to sports than the welfare of the youths.
The communique was jointly signed by the communique drafting committee led by Irene Awunah, Chairman, Dooshima Uza, Timothy Hembaor, Anderson Iji and Peters Aondover Shakumeh, Secretary.
They said the proposed commission, which should be headed by a competent youth not older than 35 years old should, in addition to keeping an eye on Agricultural sector, provide Agricultural incentives, farming inputs, fertilizers, improved seedlings and encourage mechanized farming through improvement of access to farm machinery to boost productivity.
“We demand the immediate formulation and implementation of a State Youth Development Policy detailing explicitly the 60% Affirmative Action for Youths involvement in governance and the remaining 40% for the purpose of mentorship.
“This policy will be domesticated and implemented by the Youth Development Commission we seek to be established.
They also urged Government to among other things, create an enabling infrastructural environment for businesses to thrive by building skills acquisition centers in all 23 local government areas of the state and curb multiple/illegal taxation on Agricultural produce to enable young and starters grow.
The youths also called on young people in the state to shun laziness, learn a skill or embrace agribusiness in patience, integrity and discipline as impetus that will lift them out of poverty.
They appealed to government to adopt the Disability Bill in Benue State to enhance inclusion of persons with special needs into governance, appointments, Create platforms and avenues for the youth with special needs to be more actively engaged and provide a scholarship scheme for people with special needs.
“Government should prioritize education by giving the ministry topmost priority any allocating to it the UNESCO recommended 27% budgetry allocation. Bursary for students should also be given priority,” the communique read in part.