The Jigawa state government has initiated its own social investment programme, probably to replicate the federal government N-Power. Governor Badaru Abubakar intends to create a programme in which graduates, HND, NCE and diploma holders would be empowered through the wards councilors across the 27 LGAs in the state. The J-Power will be split into three sectors: J-Teach for the education sector, teachers world be employed to teach in schools; J-Health, for the health sector, medical or health personnel will be in this section, while J-Agro is for agricultural sector.
There are many unanswered questions regarding the mode of operation of the programme. Would those employed be on permanent or casual engagement? Are education and health, two critical sectors, not compromised? Furthermore, last year about 2000 people retired in Jigawa state and 4000 people may retire in 2020 yet no plan for their replacement.
The whole thing has been politicised otherwise, why will Jigawa state government hand over this liberal issue to politicians? Will ward councilors who were voted under a political party be fair to those who are not from same political parties? Why not handover this important scheme to ministries or as done earlier to state varsity, Sule Lamido University, Kafin Hausa or why not create a portal where people can register?
Though, the entire country is facing some financial difficulties; there are rumors that, the amount or stipend is not something to take home. Finally, many Jigawa people have shown concern on the modus operandi and the design of the J-Power, many people are of the view that the scheme was not designed to last for long and politics ha has overweighed it. These concerns are borne out of none clarity of some aspects of the programme- would it be permanent or part time, what is the duration of the employment 1, 2, 3 years?
Another fear of the people is the, strong institutions built by Lamido administration would virtually collapse because human factors are the engine of productivity. Let Badaru differentiate between employment and empowerment. If it is employment, then let him employ, if empowerment let his empowerment be like that of his predecessor Lamido in the establishment, renovation, upgrading and equipping of Jigawa state skills acquisition centres in Kazaure, Hadejia, Gumel, Ringim, Dutse and Birnin Kudu.
These centres trained over 10, 000 youths in various skills such as carpentry, paint making, tailoring, GSM repairs, satellite installations, chalk and shoe making and many more. These earned Jigawa state credit as the most valuable and active state on youth and women empowerment programmes. Also, the establishment of Kila Cassava processing plant by the Lamido administration in Gwaram LG was meant to empower youths and adults of both sexes but not sharing of goats and N20,000.
Some people are of the opinion that if it is an empowerment, at the end of your tenure you will confirm them as employees to leave the incoming governor in 2023 with crisis of workers and their welfare (salaries). Governor, this goes beyond politics, please think twice, do the needful and employ jobless hundreds of thousands youths roaming the streets, not just part-time engagement (J-Power). Please save our people, save our state and save our future and Jigawa’s future. Thank you sir.
Adamu Muhd Usman,
Kafin-Hausa, Jigawa state