Posted by News Express | 17 April 2020 | 633 times
A coalition of youth groups under the aegis of Youth Coalition, Nigeria’s Peace and Security, has called on the Federal Government to take urgent steps to address “the inconsistencies, inequity and mediocrity” associated with the current distribution of COVID-19 palliatives across the country to avoid obvious backslashes.
The coalition, comprising over 50 youth organisations working on empowering youths, women and children on conflict prevention, peace-building and sustainable development across Nigeria, made the call in a statement on Thursday.
The group said: “We are calling on government at all levels to take urgent steps in ensuring that there is equitable distribution of the socioeconomic palliatives across the six geo political zones in Nigeria so that the needs of young people and other vulnerable groups are also met. Without this, Nigeria’s peace and security will be threatened.
“Going forward, we make the following recommendations. Government should ensure that young men and women are not excluded from the ongoing palliatives and support and make available more testing centers across all states and intensify the testing and contact tracing mechanism to allow for early detection and treatment.
“Government should also follow up and ensure strict monitoring of discharged patients to ensure that there is no renewed infection and liaise with the private sector to ensure that workers do not lose their jobs during and after this period.
“They should ensure that utmost accountability and transparency measures in the disbursement of palliatives without iota of party politics. This will strengthen civil trust in the process and governance at large; while security agencies should ensure that their activities do not lead to human rights violations. Civic space must be protected.”
According to the coalition, “The post-COVID-19 global economy is being forecast in the negative; government should ensure that viable fiscal and monetary policies are made and implemented to help cushion the effects of the imminent global economic meltdown. This period offers an unusual opportunity for the government across all strata to equip and upgrade public health care facilities nationwide which must be maximized.
“We commend the huge and positive steps taken, including the closure of the nation’s air, land and sea borders, the release of over 2,600 inmates across correctional homes in Nigeria, the extension of the stay at home order and the ongoing distribution of conditional cash transfers to the indigent people among other initiatives.
“As a coalition, our members are working in various parts of the nation with collective resolve to alleviate the destabilizing impact of Covid-19 and help our communities recover quickly from the pandemic through community sensitization and education, combating fake news, distribution of relief materials and monitoring of public policies.
“We are also concerned about the brutalization of young people and the increasing rate of crimes and criminalities across various communities and states in Nigeria which is not unconnected with the negative effects of the total lockdown especially on young men and women who remain disconnected from their daily means of livelihood. Youths occupy more than 60percent of the nation’s 180 million population and a majority of them rely on daily wage for survival.
“We therefore use this medium to appeal to all young men and women in Nigeria to support the efforts and initiatives of the government aimed at combating COVID-19, ensuring that there is public safety and reducing the rate of fatalities since non-compliance has overwhelming consequences.”
It maintained that it will continue to work towards service delivery, sensitization and education, monitoring and protection.
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