By Vera Anyagafu
UK Embassy Head of Communications and Policy & Corporate Lead | Department for International Development, Mr David Smith yesterday disclosed thatthe British High Commission and Department for International Development in Nigeria( DFID) , have clearly noted support and funding of YIAGA, Africa’s Youth initiative.
The agencies have clarified the public discussion on the value of UK Aid support to YIAGA, Africa’s initiatives for youth candidates, and now legislators, saying the UK DFID Nigeria has provided £796,512.23 to YIAGA as total support for the original Convergence conference in December 2018, Convergence 2.0 in May 2019, as well as building a database with evidence on youth participation in politics.
The initiative which went further to bringing 400 candidates from 91 political parties from all over the
country to Abuja, with some visiting the nation’s capital for the very first time and offering the opportunity to boost their capacity to run effective campaigns, appears a mammoth undertaking.
Similarly too is the effort made in bringing over 300 newly-elected legislators to focus on being effective representatives of the Nigerian people.
Worthy of note here, Smith disclosed is that no money was disbursed directly to YIAGA but forms part of a broader coherent package of support around the 2019 elections and UK support for marginalised groups, and so involved coordination with other programme partners.
However, “the British High Commission, through its social media channel @UKinNigeria, has already publicly advised that there were three zeroes too many in the initial statement made by the High
Commissioner, that is the millions should have been thousands” Smith noted.
Going further, he stated that YIAGA is also a sub-partner on other initiatives receiving UK support but, even taken together, the reality would not change. There is simply
NO UK-funded programme in Nigeria in the amounts being talked
about – £795,000,000.