A total of 3,000 youths drawn from the North Central geopolitical zone of the country have been successfully trained in skill acquisition by the federal government.
The youths trained under the programme, tagged:” N-knowledge Life Skills Acquisition Programme”, of the N-Power Scheme, would be given start-up items including laptops upon graduation next Tuesday.
The three-month programme which is the initiative of the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, is aimed at empowering youths who don’t have anything doing through skills acquisition.
Speaking yesterday, at the Public Service Institute of Nigeria, Kubwa,in Abuja, where the youths have been camped since 0ctober 10, Mr Kalgo Yusuf Muazu, the Chief Executive Officer, Human Resources Department of the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, explained that,” This programme is designed to empower the youths who don’t have anything doing so that they can be self-employed.”
“This is an N-Power programme, initiated by the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, for the youths.
“3000 beneficiaries from North Central geopolitical zones, comprising Plateau, Kogi, Nasarawa, Benue states and FCT have been successfully trained
“We expected them to be self-reliant after undergoing training in different skills here,” he told reporters during an interview.
According to him,” At the end of the training, they will be given tools to start being on their own.”
Muazu, who said the beneficiaries were placed on N10,000 monthly stipends, said the money would be paid for a period of nine months.
“Everybody will be provided with either laptops or other working tools as they depart for their different states,” he said.
In an interview with reporters, Christopher Adoga, one of the trainers of the N-Power hardware programme, tasked the government to go beyond providing laptops and other start-up tools, saying empowering the youths with small funds to establish workshops was equally key in the empowerment programme.
Noting that,” Within their six weeks of staying in camps here, they have learnt how to repair phones, laptops and tablets”, Adoga said:” They need funds to be able to set up small shops to carry out their trade.”
Insisting that, ” Apart from the tools that the federal government has provided for them, they also need start-up funds”, Adoga tasked the beneficiaries to start from their homes, not necessarily from shops from graduation.
He said given his assessment of the trainees, a good number of them were doing well from what they learnt.
“60 per cent are good to go based on my assessment but 40 per cent of them still require further training. Personally, they can go and get themselves attached to further enhance their skills,” he said.
A beneficiary, Agera Christopher, from Benue State, commended the government for the initiative, saying he was going out to explore the world with a view to excel in his trade.
“I want to commend the federal government for initiating this programme. I thank the government also for making me be one of the beneficiaries of the programme. It has been a very big plus on my side. For me personally, this is my first time enjoying any initiative of the federal government, so I’m indeed grateful to the government for this opportunity. So far, it has been a huge success. It has been going well.
” I am being trained in different skills such as graphic designs, photo editing, landscaping and many others. The aim of the government in doing this for me is to see that after getting out of here, I could be a self-employed person. It is now my own place to choose any of these skills I’m taught and specialize in so that I can move this country forward in my own little way,” he said.
On her part, Miss Ada Okafor, an indigene of Anambra State but resident in FCT, said:” My experience here has been wonderful. This is my best experience in life so far because I have not actually participated in any federal government’s scheme before. I’m surprised to see myself as a beneficiary of this N-Power programme.”
She added:” So far, I have learnt a lot in video editing, landscaping among many others. After leaving this place, I intend to pursue a programme on my own in the areas I have been taught about, especially video and photo editing.”
Dominic Versima, from Benue State, who said he has learnt a lot in software skill and appreciate the federal government for empowering him through the programme, said: I intend to leave this place with the knowledge acquired here to better myself.”
” I have learnt from here how I can build the website and design it. I am proud to be a web developer courtesy of the knowledge acquired here. I want to thank the federal government for this opportunity,”he said.
He, however, called on the government to provide them with small funds and a starter pack to begin their lives with.
Also speaking, Mariam Mohammed, a native of Minna in Niger State, said:” I’m very appreciative of the federal government’s gesture to us. When I received a text message about this programme, I was surprised that how would I cope with learning things like hardware, software and other computer aspects. But here I am today with all the relevant knowledge. When I leave this place, I would establish my own workshop. Although some persons are saying ladies can’t handle things like this but I would prove them wrong. But I appeal to the federal government to assist us financially and not just to train us because some of us may find it difficult to begin without funds.