Raymond Ozoji, Awka
The 7th assembly of the Anambra State House of Assembly has enacted a law to establish Anambra State Youth Development and Empowerment Commission.
Sponsor of the bill, Hon. Nonso Smart Okafor, who represents Nnewi-North state constiuency, said while speaking with our correspondent at the weekend in Awka on the significance of the law, noted that the law has come to address pertinent issues concerning youths in Anambra state.
Okafor explained that the law which is currently awaiting the assent of the governor, is strictly for youth development and empowerment through the commission that would be established before long.
He said, “I am delighted to announce that my bill which seeks to institutionalize youth empowerment and development in Anambra State has been passed into law by the Anambra State House of Assembly.”
The lawmaker who was apparently elated about the passage of the bill into law, recalled that within weeks of inauguration into the Anambra State House of Assembly and as part of his continued advocacy for the prioritization of institutional and deliberate policy towards youth development and empowerment, he sponsored a bill titled Anambra Youth Development Commission and Empowerment Bill, Implementation of Sustainable Youth Policy and other Related Matters.
According to him, after months of debates and reviews, the House in the knowledge that there was need for a strategic vision, well-tailored policy framework and institution for youth development in order to address the problems of youth unemployment, graciously passed the bill into law.
Okafor said, “This legislation which is now headed to the Governor’s desk seeks to establish a Youth Development and Empowerment Commission, that will provide solutions to the myriads of challenges confronting the youths in Anambra State.
“We cannot continue to profess that our youths are the leaders of tomorrow and key drivers of societal transformation when there is no robust and institutionalized youth development and empowerment plan.
“The current disenchanted state of many of our youths clearly poses threats to the security, stability and sustainable development of our dear state, Anambra and Nigeria in general. It is time to pursue vigorously a growth-focused policy and laws that will make adequate plans for the youth.
“The commission is designed to have the responsibility of articulating and implementing sustainable empowerment and development programs for the state government that is designed to create job opportunities for the youths in the state.
“Areas like enterprise and entrepreneurship development, technical and vocational education training, skill acquisition, making youth related public institutions and facilities work, leveraging the entertainment and sports industry, Go-to-Farm policy, ICT training, giving soft loans to SMEs, providing funds for startups and other empowerment programs will be focused.
“This will technically reduce anti-social vices such as armed robbery, kidnapping, stealing, prostitution and cultism.
“To make the commission more effective, the commission will be managed by professionals especially from the private sector with representatives from government ministries and agencies.
“I am hopeful that the bill will be signed into law by the Executive Governor of Anambra State, His Excellency, Chief Dr. Willie Obiano, as this will better position Anambra youths for continued greatness in the economic scheme of Nigeria and complement the efforts of the state government towards improving the socio-economic status of Anambra State.”