Enugu Pledges to Improve Budgetary Allocation for Youth Programmes

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By Gideon Arinze

Enugu State Government has pledged to improved budgetary allocation on programmes that will enhance the growth and development of the youths in the state.

The state Commissioner for Budget and Planning, David Ugwunta, gave the assurance yesterday in Enugu during a public hearing programme on enhancing youth participation for sustainable development, which was organised by Connected Development (CODE) with support from Actionaid.

Ugwunta noted that youth empowerment and human capital development remained top in the agenda of the state Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, “which is why he gave the go ahead for the establishment of the Enugu Technology
Hub.”

While assuring the people of the state that the 2022 budget will take care of the hub and its activities, he advised young people in the state to leverage on the opportunity in order to imbue themselves with necessary skills they need to become independent even in the midst of widespread unemployment.

Ugwunta said: “Although funding remains a major bottleneck towards the government’s efforts to achieve its goals, the Enugu State Government was committed to ensuring that youth-centered programmes in the state were given a pride of place.”

He called on the management of the hub to articulate their ideas and programmes and forward them to the ministry for inclusion in the budget, which will be captured under the Ministry of Science and Technology.

Earlier in his address, the South-east leader of CODE, Dr. Daniel Ugwu, said group, under its ‘Strengthening Youth-Focused Public Service Delivery Project’, is carrying out the public hearing to engage citizens and government stakeholders to discuss government programmes and enhance youth inclusion in governance for sustainable development.

He noted that the hearing, now in its third phase, is aimed at empowering young people to influence public expenditure towards gender-responsive public service delivery through budget monitoring and tracking.

The leader of the group said the government must also improve publicity each time such programmes are available, “because many people are often unaware of these programmes and they conclude that the government is not doing enough.”