The Yobe State Government and the Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, office of the Presidency have empowered 300 Yobe youths who were trained in various trade crafts and skills with the tools they need to set up their own businesses and support themselves and their families.
The 300 beneficiaries were from Gulani, Fune, Nangere, Jakusko, Yusufari and Yunusari local government areas.
The training of the youths was technically facilitated by the National Directorate of Employment, NDE, and funded jointly by the Yobe State Government and the SDGs.
In a ceremony at Government House, Damaturu on Tuesday, the youths received various tools and cash stipends from the governor, Ibrahim Gaidam, who urged them not to sell the tools but use them to establish small businesses and support themselves going forward.
Tools provided include those for carpentry, electrical installations and electronic repairs, furniture making, plumbing, fish farming, and hair salon operations, among others.
The ceremony also saw the distribution of other forms of support to victims of Boko Haram insurgency by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
In a speech at the ‘graduation’ ceremony for the 300 beneficiaries, Mr. Gaidam said the Yobe State Government has embarked on the “implementation of job creation avenues for youths” across the state because “positive contribution of the youths enables a community to develop while negative activities impact negatively on the socio-economic advancement of the society”.
“From 2011 to date, we have distributed 1, 000 tricycles as soft loan with 50% discount. We have sponsored 1, 500 youths for entrepreneurship training at Sani Abacha Institute for Youth Development, Kano and another 240 youths at Entrepreneurship Development Centre Maiduguri.
“We have also distributed 47 18-seater buses to beneficiaries to boost mass transit. Similarly, as part of the state government’s youth empowerment programme, the SDGs’ State Coordination Office has recently sponsored over 120 youths to undergo training in various trades like automobile repairs, welding, GSM handset repairs, carpentry, electrical works, and furniture making, etc.”, the governor said.
A female beneficiary of the empowerment tools, Hauwa Abdullahi from Fune Local Government Area, spoke about how the training impacted the lives of the beneficiaries and how she hoped to employ at least three people to work for her.
“This support is heart-warming”, she said. “It will enable us to stand on our feet and become employers of labour as well”.