By David Odama, LAFIA
The ActionAid Nigeria in collaboration, Global Peace Development and Beacon as part of its social responsibility and action plan trained and empowered 750 youths on six vocational skills in Nasarawa state.
It would be recalled that two years ago ActionAid Nigeria flagged off the “System and Structure Strengthening Approach against Radicalization to Violent Extremism (SARVE II) Project in Nasarawa State.
Speaking at the Presentation of the items to the beneficiaries in Lafia, the country Director, Action Aid Nigeria, Mrs Ene Obi explained that the beneficiaries were trained on six vocational skills including tailoring, hairdressing, shoe and bag making, ICT, phone repairs and Carpentry.
According the country director, the trainees were drawn from 12 communities in six Local Government Areas of Obi, Akwanga, Nasarawa Eggon, Nasarawa, Toto and Lafia.
“I had promised to hand over six vocational skills equipment worth N38,000,000 (105,555.555 USD) to 750 youths in Nasarawa State, today, the promise have been fulfilled”
She noted that, while the youths seek opportunities to invest their potentials, they are often negatively affected by poverty, marginalization, unemployment, and under-employment, and often find themselves lacking the necessary literacy competencies, capabilities, and skills to overcome these issues.
Ene advised that all must be done to avoid the young people becoming vulnerable target of recruitment by violent extremist groups who exploit their frustrations and vulnerability adding that the youths who stand the risk of being vulnerable especially in Nasarawa State with 29.83% unemployment rate and 31.06% underemployment rate as identified in the Quarter 4 of 2020 report of Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS) must be uplifted from the disturbing indices.
“Given this, ActionAid Nigeria, and her partners with funding from the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund, (GCERF) took steps in reducing the vulnerability of these youth, through the provision of vocational skills training to boost their income generation and making them entrepreneurs as a panacea in the prevention of violent extremism in Nasarawa State”.
She added that some of the results achieved through the SARVE II project include 1,614 persons (600 young men, 505 young women: 509 adult women) were reached with useful life skills to keep them engaged and away from the influence of extremist groups.
While assuring that ActionAid remained dedicated to the fight against poverty and injustice as well as right to life with dignity, the country Director tasked the beneficiaries to make judicious use of the items provided in order to become employers of labour, and be useful to themselves and the society.
In his remarks, the state governor, Abdullahi Sule represented by the commissioner of youth and sport, Usman Bala commended ActionAid for choosing Nasarawa state and for investing hugely on the youths.
Sule urged the beneficiaries to take advantage of being part of the selected and use the skills as well as the start up kits to establish and improve their on their lives.