Posted by Mayowa Okekale, Abuja | 29 December 2017 | 1,213 times
No fewer than 100 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have received N4 million empowerment support from a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), True Foundation.
Participants were trained in skills, which include bead making, catering, barbing, among others.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony, founder of the initiative, Brenda Ataga, who is also an aide to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, said the programme is aimed at empowering youths in vocational skills to reduce the alarming number of unemployed youths in the country.
She said the programme, which lasted for five days trained 100 youths in the camp adding that they would be provided with start-up kits to help them commercialise the skills acquired.
While quoting from the indices of unemployment in the country, she said the training became imperative to improve the country’s economy as well as lives of IDPs.
“The aim of this initiative is to empower the youths in our society. If you look at the indices, we have 40.6 million of unemployed youths, that is a huge number, this is a disaster for Nigeria because once you have the age range we currently have in the workforce, 45 years and above, when they are retired, the next level is for people to come in and replace them but unfortunately these people are uneducated, they are part of the insurgency situation, they are on the street, and this touched my heart, because I believe the youths are the foundation for the society and I thought that it is important for us to empower them adequately to support the economy of Nigeria.
“The foundation is hundred percent privately funded. We don’t get any government support or international backing. For us it is sustainability that is the key word. We want to ensure that after the training, people can go out to commercialise the activities that they have learnt,” she said.
She also sought FG’s support in putting in place structured mechanism to track progress of trainees.
“The mechanism we have right now to track progress made, is not structured, it is informal. In Epe, we did a business club afterwards, we are meant to meet once a month to evaluate how they are doing with their businesses and have developed. But here in Abuja, because of the situation in some regions we have been unable to do that.
“And that is where we need government’s participation because the North has the greatest challenge now considering the number of people that have been displaces. So yes, we are seeking government’s partnership today to build that formal structure for follow up, we need government intervention to do that.
“We have the schedule for the trainings, trainings are meant to occur every three to four months and that is what it takes. We will keep training them and keep our informal methods of checks. But we need the government’s supports,” she said.
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