By Isaac Ukpoju
Lafia – The Nasarawa State House of Assembly on Tuesday passed the Nasarawa State Agency for Youth Empowerment Scheme (NAYES) bill.
The Speaker, Ibrahim Balarabe-Abdullahi, announced the passage of the bill at the plenary, following a motion by the Majority Leader, Alhaji Tanko Tunga (APC-Awe North) and seconded by Mr Mohammed Okpede (PDP-Doma).
Balarabe-Abdullahi said that the bill would give legal backing to the youth empowerment scheme initiated by the Gov. Tanko Al-Makura-led administration which basically aimed at tackling unemployment in the state.
“The aim of the law is to recruit, train and constructively engage both skilled and unskilled youths for the purpose of public works, social and community development services in the state.
“It will also engage NAYES operatives in the areas of Traffic Management, Environmental Sanitation, Community Watch and Security Surveillance for early detection of potential security threats in their respective communities.
“The bill is geared towards reducing youth restiveness and unemployment by engaging them meaningfully to become self-reliant and contribute to societal development,” he said.
The speaker further explained that the bill when signed into law would empower the executive to appoint the General Manager, Secretary and three directors to man the agency.
He added that the agency would collaborate with MDAs and local government councils to ensure effective utilisation of the services of NAYES operatives in their various places of assignments.
Balarabe-Abdullahi also said that youths recruited under the scheme would be trained on various skills for a period of five years after which they would graduate and give way to new intakes.
The speaker gave the assurance that the assembly would continue to partner with the executive to pass bills that had direct bearing on the lives of the people of the state.
Earlier, the majority leader, moving the motion, commended Al-Makura for the initiative, adding that it would go a long way in alleviating the sufferings of youths in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that over 5,000 youths have been engaged under the scheme in the last three years with a monthly stipend of N10,000 each.
The passage of the bill has allayed fears of engaged youths that the scheme will not be sustained beyond Al-Makura’s tenure in May 2019.