2018 Budget: Allocation for youth development insufficient — YIAGA

Posted by News Express | 1 February 2018 | 1,556 times

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The Youth Initiative for Advocacy Growth and Advancement (YIAGA) has described the 116.2 billion naira which is just 1.6percent budgeted for the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development as very lean when compared to the role it is expected to perform. This was revealed by YIAGA Executive Director, Samson Itodo, during a Post-Round Table Press Conference on the Youth Budget analysis on Tuesday in Abuja. He said that the 1.6 percent of the 2018 budget allocated to the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development does not show priority to youth development.

The YIAGA Centre for Legislative Engagement recently conducted an analysis of the 2018 budget and how it responds to the yearnings and aspiration of Nigerian youths. The report, according to Mr. Itodo, shows that 5% of the budget was earmarked for capital expenditure covering programmes and infrastructure, while 95% of Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development budget will be spent on recurrent expenditure. Most of the expenditure lines are administrative in nature.

“In other words, priority is placed on procurement of items such as vehicles, computers, furniture fittings, repairs of offices, etc. In the proposed budget, the ministry introduced too many new projects, which are underfunded and this may lead to incomplete projects thus adding to the growing number of abandoned projects. Details of budget line were not explicit to ensure transparency and fiscal responsibility. For instance, budget items in the FMYSD – HQ and the Nigeria Football Federation budget for sporting activities within the recurrent budget were not clearly stated,” he said

YIAGA recommended that Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) should adjust the pattern of allocation to the 70:30 percent rule for Recurrent and Capital budget respectively, reflecting the policy on public finance management which the Federal Government has adjusted to. Similarly, the group advised that new projects within agencies should be reduced to a manageable number that will allow for optimal funding of project and possible completion within the medium term, depending on the size of the project.

“Projects on entrepreneurship, vocational skills should be adequately funded or left to specific ministries with direct functions such as NDE. There is need to harmonise youth programmes to ensure synergies and reduce duplications – a guideline on responsibility and budget priority for youth within federal agencies should be produced by the FMYSD. To avoid duplications of activities across sector, details on type, location, number and target audience should be provided in the budget. This will ensure a more transparent and efficient allocation of resources,” Itodo said.

According to him, “To avoid duplications, budgets for Sporting Activities in FMYSD-HQ and the Nigeria Football Federation should provide details on type, location and target audience. This will ensure a more transparent and efficient allocation of resources. Youth training on Leadership is very important.”

The Citizens and Leadership Centre’s budget, according to Itodo, should be increased to provide at least six zonal leadership programmes yearly. “The agency should also reflect it revenue generating capacity within its budget. Public private partnerships for the provision of entrepreneurship and sporting activities through the relevant agencies should be encouraged and such budgets captured within public funding to ensure accountability. The MDAs should budget separately for youth activities from that of women and children. Since this is an area of intervention that needs strategic approach, it is important that allocations are separated; this will also enable tracking of funds and oversight of budge,” he concluded

Source: News Express

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