Yiaga Africa and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have awarded N1m grants to 13 young Nigerians to mobilize at least 5,000 young voters each to register in the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration exercise, collect their PVCs and to vote in the forthcoming 2023 elections.
A statement on Friday jointly signed Senior Communications Officer, Yiaga Africa,
Mark Amaza and Communications Specialist, UNDP Nigeria, Alison Clement said both Yiaga Africa and UNDP “today awarded N1m grants to 13 young Nigerians to mobilize at least 5,000 young voters each to register in the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration exercise, collect their PVCs and to vote in the forthcoming 2023 elections.”
According to the statement, the winners were chosen through #ThePowerOf18 Challenge which invited applications from young people between the ages of 18-30 in 15 states: Adamawa, Benue, Enugu, FCT, Gombe, Imo, Kebbi, Lagos, Nasarawa, Ogun, Ondo, Plateau, Sokoto & Yobe. A total of 2,503 applications were received in one week of the Challenge with one winner selected per state.
The statement added that: “The Challenge is part of the activities under the #SixtyPercentOfUs project aimed at mobilizing at least 60% of eligible young voters to register, collect their Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) and vote in the 2023 elections using traditional and non-traditional tools of political mobilization.
“The project also focuses on the states with the lowest voter registration and PVC collection rates according to data from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as part of leveraging the large number of potential first-time voters who are young people to participate in the 2023 elections.”
The statement quoted the Executive Director of Yiaga Africa, Samson Itodo, to have said: “#ThePowerOf18 Challenge is another testament to the creativity and innovativeness of young Nigerians, and also the passion and willingness they have for political participation. We are optimistic that these winners will be instrumental in motivating their peers to make use of their power as citizens in determining the next set of leaders for this country by voting massively in the 2023 election.”
UNDP Nigeria Resident Representative, Mr. Mohamed Yahya, said: “Increasing voter participation and making the voting processes accessible to young Nigerians is essential to ensure the country’s future,” adding that: “The #Powerof18 Challenge has proven that youth in Nigeria are not only ready but that they have the ingenuity, talent and determination to make a significant impact in the 2023 election”.
According to the statement, the winners of the #ThePowerOf18 Challenge will work closely with the Independent National Electoral Commission and Yiaga Africa’s civil society partners in their respective states and they shall implement the projects from June to December 2022.