Federal Lawmaker Urges FG To Establish More Skills AcquisitionCentres in Borno

By Ahmed Abu, The Nigerian Voice, Maiduguri
Senator Baba Bashir Garbai
Senator Baba Bashir Garbai

Senator Baba Bashir Garbai, senator representing Borno Central senatorial district has called on the federal government to build skills acquisition centres in crisis ridden areas, especially, Borno State.

Speaking to journalists today after officials of SMEDAN were conducted round an impressive skills acquisition centre built under the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) programme for the North-east.

The senator said the boko haram insurgency has really created an army of unemployed youths, both men and women that needed to be assisted, trained and empowered or supported with funds and tools or facilities to make them self reliant or employed.

The federal lawmaker added that what Borno State requires at the moment after decade of boko haram insurgency destruction and killings was to improve the skills of the victims and assist them with start-up capital to continue their livelihood.

Garbai asserted also that one or two skills acquisition centres was not enough for Borno State where about two million people were affected by the Boko Haram insurgency, urging the federal government to build more skills acquisition centers in the state to cushion the effect of the insurgency.

According to him, the insurgency has made many to be without any means of livelihood and “one or two skill acquisition centres cannot meet the needs of the people of the state”.

“We need skill acquisition centres to be built across Maiduguri and elsewhere in the state to give the army of teeming youths the opportunity of starting their lives all over again,” Garbai said.

The SMEDAN Skills Acquisition Centre project which the senator influenced to be built in Maiduguri, he said, the project cost about N140 million was expected to train at least 500 unskilled youths at a cycle of three to six months depending on the type of the skills.

“We are going to be having either three or six months cycle depending on the skill. The anticipated trainees is 500 at a given cycle.

“There is a gap in skill acquisition training programme in Borno State. At present, we only have one and it is not operational now.

“We require so many skill acquisition centres to be built across Maiduguri so as to engage the army of unemployed youths all over the state," Garbai said.

The Project Manager, Stephen Malgwi, while conducting them round the center said the project will be completed in the next two weeks and has facilities for soap making, welding, carpentry, ICT and tailoring among others.

Stephen added that the training equipments were delivered and available for installation immediately after the completion of the building, works.