Samuel Bwalya, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Country Director, has urged the northeast governors to invest in programmes that would promote youth entrepreneurship, vocational and skills acquisition.
Bwalya, made the call at the graduation of 79 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) at the Peugeot Automotive Nigeria (PAN) Learning Centre, Kaduna, on Tuesday.
The director said that investment in the youth was the only way to address some of the underlying causes of instability and youth restiveness in the region.
He said that UNDP with the support of Norway, was focusing intervention on the root-causes of the crisis in the northeast.
He said that there was also focus on the early recovery needs that will lay the foundation for long-term development to take place in the region.
“We can do more and support more of the victims of the insurgency – with more partnerships, more resources mobilised and more equipped centres of learning, it is possible.
“We remain ready to support both the Federal and State Governments in establishing standard technical and vocational training facilities which will be useful in providing skills to women and youth of this country.
“I therefore encourage governments in the region to invest in programmes that promote youth entrepreneurship, vocational and skills acquisition.
“It is the only way we will address some of the underlying causes of instability here and other parts of the country,” he said.
Bwalya said that 575 IDPs drawn from Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States were placed into three technical facilities in Kaduna, Maiduguri and Yola States, 79 of who graduated on Tuesday.
He said that through UNDP livelihoods support project the IDPs trainees were enrolled for one year scheme at PAN Learning Centre (PLC) centre in mid-2016.
He said that the IDPs, who represented a lot of hopes for communities, where they came from were successfully trained in Auto Mechanic, Mechatronics, Panel Beating and Welding, and Auto Spray Painting.
He said that all graduates under the programme would be supported with start-up equipment grants to enable them establish their own businesses.
He encouraged them to consider partnering with each other to form business clusters and conduct their businesses together.
“I encourage all graduating trainees to use the skills and knowledge acquired to improve their well being, that of their families, communities and the country.
“From our end, we will explore possibilities of linking up this intervention with our Integrated Community Stabilisation Package being piloted in the region, as well as, the ongoing reconstruction and rehabilitation programme,” he said.
The Director-General of PAN Learning Centre, Mrs Elizabeth Modi, commended UNDP for providing the trainees with necessary tools and equipment required to start-up their private practice in their various trades.
She noted that the skill acquisition scheme was aimed at meeting early recovery needs of populations affected by the crisis in the North-East.
“UNDP is building on activities focusing on empowering IDPs with skill that would enable them to have sources of livelihoods, following the seven yearlong insurgency in northeast where million have been displaced,” she said.