By Mustapha Yauri
Abuja – The National Assembly (NASS) has assured the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) of its continued support to enhance cooperation in Africa and liberate the continent from youth unemployment.
Hon. Kingsley Ebenyi, the House Committee Chairman on Cooperation and Integration in Africa, made this known at a stakeholders’ workshop on skills initiative in Africa.
The two-day workshop is organised by NEPAD Nigeria on Tuesday in Abuja.
He said the National Assembly would enact relevant laws that would sustain the initiative.
The law maker added that NASS would provide adequate resources to enable NEPAD to implement their initiatives.
“The theme of the event which hinged on youth empowerment is laudable for our youth.
“The problem we are having with youths in Africa and other parts of the world is the lack of adequate youth engagement,” he noted.
Ebenyi said the initiative was laudable because it earmarked skills initiatives and also designed modalities of accessing funding for various skills acquired.
He said the lawmakers were already working with other committees to ensure that they appropriated fund for the programme was approved by the legislature.
He added that the NASS members felt the impact of youths unemployment more than any other people “that is why you can see many members of the National Assembly at this event’’.
Egenyi, therefore, called on civil society organisations to subscribe to NEPAD and other agencies to reverse the unemployment indices in Nigeria.
Similarly, Mr Osita Okechukwu, the Director-General, Voice of Nigeria (VON), appealed to state governments and other stakeholders to emulate Kebbi and Lagos states to create better collaboration in addressing key development issues.
Okechukwu, who was represented by Mr Ben Shaman, Deputy Director News, VON, also appealed to NEPAD to expand its horizon by coopting more women into the programme.
NEPAD is a socio-economic flagship programme of the African Union, with primary of objective of poverty eradication, promotion of sustainable growth and development and integrating Africa to the world economy, among others.