" Baby Factory" is worst crime against vulnerable youth -Dalung

Youth and Sports Minister - Barr Solomon Dalung has described the baby-factory phenomenon rampart in some parts of the country today as the worst form of crime and wickedness ever visited on hapless youth in modern history; noting that the development arises from past failure to adequately invest in youth, make them self-reliant and giving them skills that can enhance their self esteem. He pledged that the current Goverment of Change will use legal, institutional and enforcement instruments to fight the scourge.

2.    Dalung made this observation Monday 7th July 2016, at the Abuja Office of the Country Representative of the United Nations Fund for Population Activities UNFPA -Mrs Ratidzai Ndalovu during a courtesy visit to the  Organisation. The visit was also a fulfillment of the pledge he made to the Country Representative of UNFPA some months back when she paid a similar visit to the Minister.

3.   The Minister who commended the UNFPA for its committment in developing the youth through its rwell tailored programmes on health, capacity building and youth enterpreneurship development also described the Agency as a long-standing partner whose relationship as Development Partner has been beneficial to his Ministry. He solicited for continuation and further deepening of the symbiotic relationship.

4.     The Minister who decries the current "silos approach to issue of youth development", used the occasion to call for synergy, collaboration and cooperation among the various Ministries and Agencies handling youth-related programmes in order to achieve more effectiveness and better results. "A situation where programmes designed to better the lot of our youth are scattered all over the place, while ministries and Agencies handling youth-related programmes act in silos is not the best. Under this silos development, there are many youth programmes springing up but there is no co-ordination which means there is no monitoring or evaluation." He therefore called for proper coordination of the different youth intervention programmes like Youth in Agriculure, You Win Programme to be situated in the Ministry of Youth & Sports being the focal ministry for better results. According to him such arrangement will give the youth easier access, promote cross fertilization of ideas and provide a good data base for students, researchers and public administrators.

5.    Dalung also called for adequate investment in our youth by governments across board, corporate bodies, well-to-do individuals, as well as development partners; saying their neglect today is tantamount to cultivate fertile ground for increased crimes and anti-social behaviours in the future. To him "investment in infrastructural development without a correspondent investment in the youth is being penny wise and pound foolish"

6.    Earlier on the Country Representative of UNFPA in Nigeria - Mrs Ratidzai Ndallovu while welcoming the Minister acknowledged that Barr Dalung is the first Minister to visit the Office; an attestation of the seriousness he attaches to government/ private partnership in youth development.
She elaborated on UNFPA activities and support programmes in Nigeria and solicited for continued partnership with the Ministry in the implementation of ICPD beyond 2014 Agenda.

7.    Mrs Naloovu also advocated a coordinated approach that will bring all development partners and government Ministries and Agencies involved in different aspects of youth affairs together for better synergy and networking. She said her experience on the job has shown that part of the problem is that youth capabilities to national development are underestimated; saying youth have always excelled whenever they are given access to contribute in any sphere of development.

Tolu Makinde
Director Press
11th July 2016

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