Reports from the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly reveal that we are behind in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. But just how far off track are we?

The 2019 population projection from the United Nations also estimates that 32% of Nigerians are aged 10-24. Adolescents and youth have the right to autonomously determine and lead their lives in line with their evolving capacities, without fear of harm, violence, or discrimination based on their identities and life choices, feeling a sense of connectedness and belonging, and growing in a positive and nurturing environment. The experiences, voices and needs of this population are vital in shaping the future of Nigeria.

To meaningfully engage with adolescents and youth, in all their diversity, amid growing inequity and increasing vulnerabilities due to pandemics, climate crises, humanitarian and conflict situations, and economic inequality, this Agenda for Action for Adolescents (AAA) highlights seven priorities for urgent action. Young people themselves have determined these priorities. They have been distilled from expert analysis of more than 1.2 million responses from adolescents and youth aged 10-24, who participated in the “What Young People Want” survey, which gathered responses from over 90 countries, and further reviewed by adolescents and stakeholders to suit the Nigerian context.

This Agenda defines a path forward for governments, in partnership with stakeholders from all sectors, to develop and implement policies and programs that deliver on these priorities. It advances the adolescent agenda within the current Sustainable Development Goals and sets the scene for the post-2030 global development agenda.

By Providing universal primary, secondary, and tertiary education and vocational training we can ensure all adolescents and youth (including adolescents with disabilities) develop skills aligned with modern labour market demands. They are protected by strengthened labour laws and policies to provide decent jobs, meaningful career options and safe working environments.

To ensure Universal Health Coverage, we need to make conscious efforts towards providing affordable, high-quality adolescent health and well-being services to adolescents, including adolescents who are mothers, through “one-stop centres,” digital platforms, and peer-led models that bring care closer to communities. This includes primary health care services that are also disability-friendly and providing nutritional services while ensuring mental well-being and resilience for AYPs.

To ensure mental well-being and resilience by providing timely and flexible access to affordable and quality evidence-based information by integrating mental health services into facilities and community-based services (such as social centres for youth), psychosocial support, therapy, anti-discrimination measures, and destigmatizing mental health conditions.

There is a need to review and implement existing laws and policies, such as the National School Health Policy, Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act (VAPP) Law and enforce affirmative and protective laws and policies that facilitate access to education, healthcare, and other well-being services, and provide safe public spaces including roads, recreational centers, and public convenience.

Laws and policies should protect adolescents and youth in all their diversities from all forms of violence, discrimination, and harm, including sexual, gender-based, and domestic violence. Ensure age of consent laws do not deprive access to essential, comprehensive Sexual Reproductive Health services and information, including HIV services, contraception, while protecting against female genital mutilation, early and forced marriage.

By strengthening social protection policies and mechanisms such as the vulnerable group funds (VGF), National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) and other community-based insurance schemes we can meet the unique needs of adolescents and youth as well as income generating programs that includes training and skill acquisition.

To prevent stigma and discrimination against adolescents and youth in all their diversity through legal protection, capacity building in areas of SMART advocacy, awareness creation, and sensitization programs for relevant stakeholders and the provision of Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) in and out of school.

To strengthen the agency of adolescents and young people by providing meaningful social and civic meaningful engagement and participation, as well as allocate adequate resources to support youth and adolescent cantered accountability mechanisms, Including integrating adolescent health indicators into the NHMIS to track the implementation of National Policy on Adolescents Health and Development, and other relevant policies and commitments utilizing existing platforms/mechanisms at the national, regional, and global levels, such as the National Adolescent Health Technical Working Group, Voluntary National Review and Universal Periodic Review.


We, adolescents and youth along with civil society organizations, call on governments, donors, development partners, and all stakeholders to protect and promote the well-being of adolescents and youth through strengthened domestic investment and policies, supported by international cooperation, by aligning with the seven priorities.