An exploration of young peoples political involvement in policy formation processes in Nigeria (Niger Delta)

Vite, Bari-Ika N. (2020) An exploration of young peoples political involvement in policy formation processes in Nigeria (Niger Delta). Doctoral thesis, Anglia Ruskin University.

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Young people in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria (NDN) are requesting the Federal Government to embrace and formulate an inclusive national youth policy to tackle young peoples challenging issues. The African Youth Charter also discusses young peoples privilege to engage in issues that concern them. This research deploys a qualitative investigation based on a social constructivist approach to analyse and explore young peoples engagement as a participatory factor in the implementation and formulation of policies concerning young people in NDN. The aim of the study was to comprehend the processes that challenge and motivate young peoples involvement processes and policy procedures at the regional and federal levels. This study uses focus group discussions and semi-structured interviews with a total of 30 participants, comprising 21 young people (aged 16-24), 4 members of civil society organisations, and 5 official policy makers. The findings present different views and approaches of policy makers concerning young people. The research acknowledged diverse elements that contribute to this difference. The study centres on the distinction in policy procedures of Nigeria, Niger Delta region. While for some regions the main discussion is the formulation phase of policy, this research presents that in NDN the major deliberation is at the phase of policy implementation. Although young people in NDN are to some extent involved in formulating policy, as they are consulted at the implementation phase, they question the Nigerian governments commitment to genuinely engaging young people in the decision-making process. In view of this disparity between engagement theory and practice, this research finds that it is essential for young people to be effectively included in policy procedures and appeals for young peoples political capital. Conclusively, this research advocates a re-evaluation of the apolitical (politically neutral) standing sometimes attributed to young people in NDN and a commensurate reorientation of youth policy to extend the scope of involvement for young people in policy formation.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Keywords: Youth, Participation, Empowerment, Citizenship, Democratic processes
Faculty: Theses from Anglia Ruskin University
Depositing User: Lisa Blanshard
Date Deposited: 29 Jul 2021 12:26
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 18:52

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