CODE harps on youth participation in governance
By: Femi Mustapha
Connected Development (CODE) has stated that the development of youth leadership is critical to building civic capacity and long-term community sustainability of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in the country.
The Community Engagement Director of CODE, Kingsley Ago, asserted this during the ‘Follow Money Campus Tour’ held at the Kaduna State University (KASU), Kaduna on 22nd September 2023.
Ago said the aim of gathering the students together was to instill accountability and transparency in them, emphasizing that involving young people in tackling projects benefits the country because they make up 70 percent of the population.
He disclosed that they are in KASU to mobilize youth to monitor constituency projects, including the implementation of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) projects, and increase their interest in government spending.
He stressed that when youth develop useful skills and build self-confidence, the country is establishing capability and effective leaders for the next generation.
CODE’s Project Assistant, Abubakar Mohammed, said his organization, through its award-winning initiative ‘Follow the Money,’ has tracked over $10 million worth of government projects and international aid spending in rural communities, promoting open government and effective service delivery.
He added that the Campus Tour enlightens and encourages students to be involved in project tracking and governance.
He stressed that the Campus Tour was under the Deepening Citizens’ Interest in Government Spending and Addressing Accompanying Corrupt Practices (DeSPAAC) project, supported by the MacArthur Foundation.
The campus tour aimed to empower students of institutions of higher learning to demand accountability and transparency from their immediate environment and government, to curb the menace of corruption in our society.
“This event will feature a panel discussion that will delve into social responsibility, social accountability, community service, and social consciousness. The panelists will be from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).”
Contributing as a panelist, the Citizens Co-Chairman of Open Government Partnership, Hadiza Umar, said since Kaduna has signed into the OGP platform, citizens must be part of governance, including students.
She, therefore, urged them to take a responsible role in participating in governance to secure a better future for themselves.