By Charly Agwam – Bauchi
At least 204 youths in Bauchi state have been equipped with starter packs and the sum of N20,000 after attending ICT training organized by the North-East Development Commission (NEDC).
Speaking at the graduation ceremony of the 2nd batch beneficiaries, on Friday at the Bauchi Government House, Managing Director/CEO of the NEDC, Mohammed Goni Alkali said that the youths were carefully selected across the 20 LGAs of the state and were made to undergo the skill acquisition in ICT.
He noted that the training will equip youths with relevant skills to contribute to the economic development of the state and complement the government’s efforts at reducing the rate of unemployment among youths of the state.
The NEDC boss said that apart from 204 graduands that just graduated from various ICT programmes, 176 had earlier been trained and graduated in the first batch, making the state to be in the lead with a combined total of 380.
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“You are aware that our region has the lowest literacy rate and the highest poverty index in all the geopolitical zones due to the activities of the dreaded insurgency, hence the need for human capital development initiative.
“In our last meeting, we mentioned that we are going to graduate 200 beneficiaries from each of the states, but eventually, Bauchi had 176. Out of the second batch we admitted, Bauchi has 204 graduands. In total, we have 380 graduands from Bauchi.
“For those graduating today, it will be my pleasure if you use what was learnt to become good ambassadors of the state. The Commission has been and will always be committed in making sure that youths development is given the topmost priority. Through training and job creation, we will deliver our mandate.
“To further support the completion of your training, I want to mention that each of you (graduand) will be provided with a free starter pack each and the sum of N20,000 as an incentive for startup capital. Your Excellency, we passionately appreciate the N50,000 to each of the former beneficiaries, please extend a similar gesture to these beneficiaries.
“Your Excellency, we have also donated farm implements and inputs to smallholder farmers in order to increase their capacity. Today we are going to hand over equipment to boost farming activities in Bauchi state. The farm equipment includes; 10 tractors, 18 Power Tillers, 10 Planters, 10 Power Tiller Harrows, and 10 Boom Sprayers,” he said.
He said that in line with its mandate, the NEDC established ICT resource centres in each of the 6 states of the North-East which is hosted in tertiary institutions in the states where a total of 2400 youths are to be trained across the 6 states annually.
Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed commended NEDC for the programme which he said has complemented efforts of the government in creating employment opportunities for its teeming youths.
Bala Mohammed who was represented by his Deputy, Baba Tela said that skills acquisition is the most important way of ending unemployment among the youths because according to him, white-collar jobs are not readily available anywhere in the country.
He further assured that his administration will continue to prioritize skills acquisition by the youths and women who he said are the backbone of the administration and must be well taken care of through mentoring.
One of the beneficiaries who spoke to Vanguard, Yakubu Sambo said he learnt graphic design and other skills during the programme.
“I feel lucky to be one of the beneficiaries of this project. Before now, I knew little or nothing about computers but after the training I received, I can now create posters, banners and a lot of others things. I thank the President and NEDC for giving me this opportunity. I will make sure to use my newly acquired skills to benefit society,” the beneficiary said.
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