The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Yiaga Africa have given N1 million grants to 13 Nigerian youths who will each mobilize at least 5,000 young voters to register in the upcoming 2023 elections.
The winners were chosen through the #ThePowerOf18 Challenge, which invited applications from young people between the ages of 18 and 30 in Adamawa, Benue, Enugu, FCT, Gombe, Imo, Kebbi, Lagos, Nasarawa, Ogun, Ondo, Plateau, Sokoto, and Yobe States, according to a joint statement released on Friday, May 27, 2022.
“A total of 2,503 applications were received during the Challenge’s first week, with one winner chosen from each state.”
“The Challenge is part of the #SixtyPercentOfUs project, which aims to use traditional and non-traditional political mobilization tools to get at least 60% of eligible young voters to register, collect their Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs), and vote in the 2023 elections.
“As part of leveraging the large number of potential first-time voters who are young people to participate in the 2023 elections, 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).”
“The #ThePowerOf18 Challenge is yet another example of young Nigerians’ creativity and innovation, as well as their passion and willingness to participate in politics.” “We are hopeful that these winners will inspire their peers to use their civic power to elect the next generation of leaders for this country by voting en masse in the 2023 election,” said Samson Itodo, Executive Director of Yiaga Africa.
Mr Mohamed Yahya, UNDP Resident Representative in Nigeria, believes that increasing voter participation and making voting processes more accessible to young Nigerians is critical to the country’s future.
“The #Powerof18 Challenge has demonstrated that Nigerian youths are not only prepared, but also have the ingenuity, talent, and determination to make a significant impact in the election of 2023.”
In their respective states, the winners of the #ThePowerOf18 Challenge will collaborate closely with the Independent National Electoral Commission and Yiaga Africa’s civil society partners.
“The projects will be implemented from June to December 2022.”