Complementing government efforts through jobs’ creation

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CHUKS NWEZE in this report writes on how a group is assisting to provide skills for some persons in order to reduce unemployment.

Unemployment is believed to be one of the remote causes of crimes in the society involving youths because those youths that should be engaged in one activity or the other are left without any tangible job; hence, the incidences of kidnappings, car-snatchings, armed robbery, prostitution and cyber-crimes that are prevalent in society.

Although it has not been proved that unemployment is the main root cause of the crimes in the society, many however believe that if the youths are not preoccupied with meaningful jobs, they are bound to preoccupy themselves by indulging in crimes.

Apart from unemployment, one other social maladies that is believed to have fueled socio-economic crime is corruption.

As a result of this, government set up anti-corruption agencies, but such agencies can ill-afford to check corruption and other related crimes because society continues to experience population explosion and with it comes unimagined crimes.

As a result of mismanagement and corruption, government had empowered the citizend through different skills, but all to no avail, not even the creation of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE).

However, NDE over the years has provided jobs to many youths and women by engaging them meaningfully in craft such as shoe making, confectionaries, welding, bricklaying, farming techniques, among others. People who had passed through NDE skills acquisition trainings, backed up with startup packs, have become useful people in the society and have been contributing their quota to the society.

Also, some non-governmental organisations have also seen the need to provide jobs for the masses through skills acquisition, training and empowerment. Those NGOs, like NDE, have equally been uplifting so many people in the society in a bid to reduce unemployment and by
extension reduce crimes in the society.
Many of them have embarked on the provision of jobs through skills acquisition by setting up foundations and scholarship programmes all geared towards making lives better for the people, especially people in rural and remote areas.
Such NGOs/corporate organisations and individuals do not only base their foundations and scholarship programmes in rural areas but on urban settlers.

Complementing gov’t effort

To that extent, Upswing for
Better Life Initiative (UBLI), a non governmental organisation based in Egede community in Udi local government area of Enugu state owned by Barr Bibian Obiageli Agada is doing something in that regard by empowering both the youths and adults with skills so that they stay out of crimes.
Agada set up the NGO in partnership with Christ Intercessory and Deliverance Ministry Enugu. She had earlier began by starting an adult education centre where those without formal education were trained to write WAEC and NECO as well as the First School Leaving Certificate.
From the adult education classes, she started skills acquisition programme known as Upswing for Better Life Initiative training people on soap making, bakery, tailoring and shoe making. The scheme kicked off from February 2022 and has since trained and empowered 31 indigenes of Egede.

Providing insight

Speaking at the graduation ceremony on September 22, 2022 at Egede, Agada explained that the initiative is non-profit making based in the United States. She said the programme started with 41 people, but that 10 fell out of the way while 31 were able to complete their training and rewarded with different equipment and cash to set up their own businesses.
“Better Life Initiative inc, doing business in Nigeria as Upswing for Better Life Initiative is committed to helping rural dwellers discover their potentials for creating a better and higher standard of living for themselves and their families. What you are witnessing here today is just the beginning of the adventure of turning villages into industrial villages by creating chains of committed enterpreneurs.
“This journey started on February 3, 2022 when we selected 41 people for the training programme in Skin Care Production, Pasteries and Shoe Making. The training did not start until the 18th of Februrary as we had to renovate the building granted us for use.

“The training went smoothly and with fun as the trainers exhibited high level of commitment, discipline and care.
She disclosed that apart from training the participants free of charge, the organisation equally provided them with equipment as well as some
cash to enable them take off without any hitch.

“Upswing for Better Life Initiative will therefore strengthen their
empowerment by giving interest free loan in materials and cash to the 25 that applied for loan. Each of the shoe makers will get a sewing machine and filling machine. Each of the 10 for skin care products will receive a table cutter, 25 litre of palm kernel oil and 12.5 kg of caustic soda,” Agada said.

Speaking at the occasion, Mr. Ephraim Okenwa, the CEO, Queens Model Group of Schools, Enugu appreciated the foundation for establishing the skills acquisition centre. He urged the graduands to
take the empowerment serious so that they too would empower others.
Okenwa said that by giving the training with startup packs, they are equipped to lift themselves from poverty.
As a proof that the skills acquisition centre is working, all the shoes the graduands wore, the food for the entertainment were all produced by the graduates of the centre.

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