Developing youth, women through skills acquisition programmes

To be skilful is to be creative, artistic and inventive. A skilful person is indeed a resourceful person. These are parts of the initiatives, Business Women Networking Limited (BWNL) brings together for teeming youth and women to be self reliant and empowered. ADEOLA TUKURU reports.

Through skill acquisition, individuals, communities, and countries can create a more prosperous future. Moreover, it is a more realistic solution to the perennial problem of unemployment. 
Unfortunately most of the youth are no longer interested in skills. They are only interested in quick money and white-collar jobs.

This bothers the Chief-Executive-Officer of the Business Women Networking Limited, Hajiya Sa’adatu Abdullahi, who proffered that 
skillful work, on the other hand, is very much available and affordable. They are the most lucrative and rewarding job anyone can comfortably do. 

Capacity building 

In chat with Business Starter recently with the CEO who also doubles as the President , Northern Women Support Development Initiative says her initiative was meant to build capacity , consultancy , outsource and develop profile from the website and train people on how to develop and grow their businesses . 

According to her, her initiative which was registered in 2011, helps people grow their businesses by drawing up a plan and providing a blueprint on how to do the business.

“We also look for a job for people , train staff, prepare CVs , do replacement of staff for a company, outsource for them and get part time staff for the company when necessary.

“We are also into skill acquisition such as accessing the products and how to market and sell the products,”
She lamented the spate of unemployment in the country while there are things that can be learnt and produced by these unemployed youths.

She said as graduates, they can develop themselves by getting involve in skills acquisition and then employs others to work for them .

2030 SDGs goal for youths on skills 

Skills and jobs for youths feature prominently in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goal. For instance, the SDG target 4.4 calls for a substantial increase in the number of youths and adults who have relevant skills.

While encouraging youths there are no jobs that is small, Hajiya Sa’adatu cited an example of how she travelled to the United Kingdom and found locally products at the African corner of Tesco.

“You won’t imagine how marvelled I was when I saw Plantian chip well packaged , Poundo Yam flour well packed and well appreciated abroad while we have alot of things to produce and yet not well utilized by our youths,” she said.

Youth empowerment encompasses different ways you can be exposed into different trades that may help them to engage in sustainable paid and self employment.  

Assistant for youth and women 

Hajia Sa’adatu explained that in the last Six months , they have helped women participate in five development programs to build their business capacity and entrepreneurial skills.

“We recently organised a program at the International Exhibition centre and also at the Nigerian Airforce centre,” she said . 
According to her, some of the challenges they face is that in Nigeria, people don’t like to pay for services as what they do in Nigeria is not well appreciated.

Federal government on youth empowerment programmes 

Earlier this year , the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved N5.5 billion for the training and provision of devices to 12,000 youths in N-Power Knowledge Multi-Track Youth Empowerment Programme.
The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Sen. Udoma Udo Udoma, who disclosed this at the end of FEC meeting, said the programme targets young Nigerians between the ages of 18 years and 25 years.
He said that the prigramme intended to transform the youths from unemployed, under-employed trainees to employed citizens and entrepreneurs.
The minister revealed that a training firm would be working with officials of Social Investment Programme on the project.
He pointed out that the training programme would cost N259,000 per youth and N207,000 for the work tools.
One of the projects approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) today is N-Power Knowledge Multi-Track Youth Empowerment Programme knowledge.
Beneficiaries targeted 
This programme targets 12,000 young Nigerians of between the ages of 18-25 years. It is meant to give them trainings and devices. The trainings intend to transform the 12,000 beneficiaries from unemployed, under-employed trainees to employed citizens and entrepreneurs.
“It will deliver to 12,000 beneficiaries informed trainings which will enable beneficiaries build and imbibe technical proficiency such as assembling, repairs, maintenance as well as technology skills and digital literacy across a wide range of electronic brands, products and technology.
“It can be grouped into three areas – mobile devices, computing devices and commonly used electronic devices irrespective of their socio-economic backgrounds.
“It’s a programme that is open to all unemployed youths across the six geopolitical zones.
“Each of the 12,000 targeted beneficiaries will be empowered to train 5,000 youths via a training platform which means they will need to translate the jobs to 60,000 additional jobs because each of the 12,000 is empowered to train five other youths via a training platform and engage them on his or her platform,’’ he said.
He revealed that the training contract, which was awarded to Messrs Softcam, was expected to be completed in nine months.
Also, the Minister of Finance, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed, disclosed that the council approved additional financing of 6.8millin dollars sought as a loan from the African Development Bank (AfDB).
“Today, at FEC, I presented a memo seeking the approval of council for additional financing, the sum of $6.8 million sought as a loan from AfDB to finance inclusive basic service delivery and livelihood empowerment integrated programme for the rebuilding of the North-east.
States of coverage 
There was a previous facility which included coverage of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe States, and some specific institutions were beneficiaries.
“But there is a federal science and technology college in Lassa, Borno State that was one of the beneficiaries.
“But because of insurgency, it suffered severely. It could not be carried out because of the activities of insurgents.
“Now, what we are trying to do is to go back to the projects, to this particular institution to make sure we are able to rehabilitate the institution and also undertake a complete skill, training and educational project that will mitigate against the challenges that the institution has had,” she said 
Ahmed further explained that the facility was a concessionary loan with an interest rate of one per cent and payable over a 30-year period with five years moratorium.

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