BusinessDay

Youths seek laws to promote export, taxes on fossil fuel companies

...demand 15% budget for education, addressing 3-delay model of maternal health

Youths, including students have urged the National Assembly to enact laws that will promote export of raw materials as well as finished products, and to impose taxes on fossil fuel companies, according to their high rate of carbon emissions.

They also called on the Federal government to strive to meet the threshold of at least 15% on education in future budgets, and address the three-delay model of maternal health to accelerate the reduction in mortality rate ahead of 2030.

The young people gave these indications at the grand finale of the Nigeria Policy Hackathon organised by the Debate and Development Resource Center (DEDERC); Nigeria funded by Heinrich Bolls, held in Abuja on Saturday.

In a presentation titled ‘Team learning curve’ from the Nasarawa State University, Keffi said the enactment of a law on export for both crude oil and agricultural products, investment in human capitaI development and electro-mechanical production was necessary for the economic development of the Nigeria.

The team stated that expertise should be applied in the drafting of Nigeria’s foreign to make it genuine so as to attract deveIopment to the country beyond what currently obtains.

It also recommended that: The National Assembly through the committee on education should invite the university service commission and any other tertiary institution body, to discuss the importance of issuing a circular to all tertiary institutions across the country in providing compulsory general course to all first year students on policy and strategic studies.

On its part, Team Zoba Advisory proposed a legislation for climate change issues, including tax incentives to promote renewable energy sources and carbon capture as well as sequestration efforts that can Nigeria move beyond fossils while achieve economic development in a changing climate.

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“A bill of fully funded scholarships for researchers especially the youth( master’s or PhD. scholars) be considered, to hinder them from focusing on leaving the country but motivate them in researching climate-related technologies that can help improve our economy,” the team added.

Also speaking, Nile (University) Team Pitch insisted that increased funding for education should be prioritised and deployed to teachers’ training; infrastructure at basic, secondary and tertiary levels, and learning aids.

According to them, education allows people to learn about their rights and acquire the skills and knowledge, hence it is necessary for youth inclusiveness in politics and governance.

“To create policies that better respond to youth’s needs, Nigeria’s young people need to be actively involved in politics and governance. It is important to have youth represented among Nigeria’s decision-makers in a way that gives visibility to youth issues.

“The Constitution should be amended to reserve legislative seats at the federal and state levels, to which only persons below a given age (35 years or 30 years) can be elected”, the team noted.

To team Lamba from the University of Ibadan, addressing the three-delay model through the lens of gender inequality can speed up the reduction in maternal mortality rate projected to be less than 70% by 2030.

The three-delay model entails; delay in decision to seek care due to amongst others, the low status of women; delay in reaching care caused mostly by distance to health centres and hospitals; and delay in receiving adequate health care resulting from poor facilities and lack of medical supplies, inadequately trained and poorly motivated medical staff.

In his remarks, Gabriel Rockwell, the chairman of the Nigeria Policy Hackathon said the programme was organised because of observed gaps in the policy aspects in the country, ahead of the 2023 general election.

“Currently now, there is an election coming up and everybody is focusing on who is going to be the candidate or who are they going to elect. But if you look at democracy, there are aspects that are very vital to moving the country forward.

“We also need to come up with policies that would drive the country towards growth and sustainability. So, we sat back and take the technical aspect that no one is talking about. We want to talk about the policies by talking with young people across Nigeria.

“So we came up with this, we launched a website shared out the campaign that people should apply. We got over 500 teams who applied, we moved to the next stage where we held a master class for them. We later moved to the pitching sessions; we have people from across all parts of the country. It was from them that we selected these five finalists (teams),” he said.

On his part, Jerry Nwigwe, DEDERC board member, it was practically impossible to build a new Nigeria without the active involvement of youth as they are the pillar and the foundation of any nation that strives to succeed in all spheres of human endeavor.

Nwigwe spoke through Pamela Braide, a development specialist who said: “basically policy analysis and discussion enables young people know how things work; how they don’t work and think of policy solutions. Policy is also a community, local government and state affair as political players at those levels require engagement on policy.”

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