UNDP Pledges to Support Govts to Establish Technical, Vocational Training Facilities for Women and Youths

By Ahmed Abu, The Nigerian Voice, Maiduguri

United Nations Development Programme ( UNDP) has said that it remained ever ready to support both the state and federal governments to establish standard technical and vocational training facilities that will be useful in providing technical and vocation skills to women and youths of the country.

Governments in the north east region have also been urged to invest in programmes that will promote youth entrepreneurship, technical, Vocational and skills acquisition, pointing out that, it is the only way Nigeria will address some of the underlying causes of instability in the north east and other parts of the country.

The UNDP Country Director, Mr. Samuel Bwalya made the pledge Wednesday at the graduation ceremony of 225 internally displaced persons IDPs Trainees/participants of UNDP Livelihood Scheme for the north east after a 6-months intensive training in the foremost technological institution held at Ramat Polytechnic Maiduguri .

He added that the 225 participants have undertaken technical and vocational skills in 5 trades, namely, computer studies shoe/leather making work, hairdressing, tailoring , catering and decoration, noting that, the women and youths have been given opportunities to acquire life long skills that is shaping their lives and making them economically viable and socially engaged in their respective communities.

Represented by the the Head UNDP North East Sub Office Maiduguri, Miss Mizuho Yokoi , the UNDP Country Director encouraged all the beneficiaries of the scheme to continue to make UNDP proud by showing dedication and commitment to their chosen careers.

He also said that the 225 trainees are part of the 575 IDPs that were identified through a vigorous and competitive process in 2015 as well passed through a compulsory 2 weeks orientation programme at the Citizenry and Leadership Training Center Jos Plateau State and were thereafter placed on various technical and vocational facilities in Kaduna, Yola and Maiduguri in 4 batches.

According to him, the first two batches of 258 graduated in September 2017 and a huge number of these beneficiaries are making waves in their respective professions.

The Country Director further noted that UNDP has set aside some funds to support the beneficiaries that are committed and dedicated to their work and are making the desired impact to expand the scope of their businesses, stressing that, an assessment to identify these categories of UNDP graduates was on going while encouraging them all to strive to be among the beneficiaries.

He reaffirmed UNDP continuous support and commitment to the displaced population and ensure that more IDPs will benefit from the technical and vocational training with increased partnerships, intense resource mobilization and more equipped centers of learning that will be attainable.

Bwalya also said that apart from skills acquisition, UNDP had since 2014 been assisting the governments and people of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states to recover from the devastating effect of the boko Haram insurgency in their states through the reconstruction of destroyed public structures including schools and health facilities, provision and rehabilitation of water facilities, supply of agricultural inputs,/seedlings,insecticides, chemicals amongst others to farmers including women.

He added that UNDP will also support traders and business owners including 30% women to e-establish their businesses, creation of village savings and loans associations, provision of clean energy for schools, capacity building for traditional rulers, religious leaders, women and youth groups on de-radicalization, conflicts prevention and peace building, institutional capacity building, support to government training institutions amongst other interventions in the north east.

Samuel assured also that all the graduates under the programme will be supported with start up equipments grants to enable them establish their own businesses while encouraging the graduates to consider partnership with each other to form business clusters and conduct businesses together.

The Director further encouraged all the graduating trainees to use the skills and knowledge acquired to improve their well being and that of their families, communities and the country, noting that UNDP will explore possibilities of linking up the interventions with the integrated Community Stabilization Package being piloted in the north east region as well as the on going reconstruction and rehabilitation programme.

He also thanked the management and staff of Ramat Polytechnic for their dedication and commitment as well as understanding while appreciating partnerships and support of all the stakeholders in the scheme.

Earlier, the Rector of Ramat Polytechnic Maiduguri, Dr. Modu Kyari commended the UNDP, state ministries, management and staff of the institution as well as participant's for their support, contributions and efforts in supporting and ensuring that the programme was successful.

He appreciated and acknowledged the efforts and supports of Governor Kashim Shettima and state commissioners involved in the programme.

Yunusa Musa Kwayam, one of the beneficiaries on behalf of the participants thanked the organizers and sponsors as well as the polytechnic management for their support and training which will make them self reliant and more useful to themselves and the society apart from improving their livelihood.