Global Forum for Adolescents 2023: Pate pledges to close gaps in development of adolescents well-being in Nigeria

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By Joy Odor

The Coordinating, Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Dr Muhammed Ali Pate has affirmed that the Federal Government is committed to strive to increase the financial and policies that will develop programmes and service delivery action to improve adolescents well-being.

This is even as the Minister maintained that, to secure and sustain the future economic, social, political progress and stability, there was the need to make a strong commitment to close the gaps in the development of the adolescents who are the future, noting that adolescents group constitute 22% of the Nigerian’s population.

Represented by the Deputy Director, Department of Family Health, Dr Amina Mohammed, Dr Pate made this known in his welcome address to commemorate the Global Forum for Adolescents 2023 with the theme: “WITH AND FOR ADOLESCENTS OUR FUTURE IS NOW.” in Abuja on Thursday.

According to him, the government recognised that the wellbeing of adolescent is critical to achieving sustainable development and acknowledged the importance of adopting a whole government approach to addressing the multiple and intersecting factors that impact adolescent in Nigeria.

“We commit to prioritise adolescent wellbeing in our national development plans and strategies to ensure disaggregated data collection so that we better understand the challenges and opportunities in ensuring adolescent wellbeing, and to integrate adolescent specific indicators into the monitoring and reporting framework by meaningfully engaging themselves in a designed implementation and monitoring of policies and programmes that affect their well-beings.

“On behalf of the government of Nigeria, we commit to strive to increase our financial commitment on the policies that we make, and also develop programmes and services delivering actions that’ll improve “adolescent well-being.

“By making these commitments, we agree to register our commitment on the SDGs summit acceleration accountability platform. We commit to systematically report on the implementation of those commitments through existing follow-up and review processes, including the voluntary national review process” he stressed.

In his contributions, an Advocacy Officer, Idoko Philip informed that there are 1.8 billion Young Nigerians looking for change based on their data collection, and encouraged political and world leaders for financial commitment to ensure that issues affecting adolescents health and well-being is prioritize.

In her submission, Gifty Addico, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Nigeria Representative advocates that adolescents and young people under 25 years make up about 63 per cent of the nation’s population and are a key focus group for UNFPA mandate areas.

Also commenting , the Executive Director at Gem Hub Initiative, Oyeyemi Pitan, underscored the importance of investing in the health and well-being of adolescents and the commitment to creating a brighter and healthier future for the nation.

She emphasised the commitment to ensure that no adolescent is left behind and that their health and well-being are a top priority in the country.

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