By NBF News
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Katsina State Government has set aside about N12.5 million as interest free loan for no fewer than 300 youths in the state to be self employed in different trades.

Governor Ibrahim Shema disclosed this during the graduation of the third set of trainees of Katsina Youth Craft Village and the inauguration of the Information Communication Technology (ICT) training  centre over the weekend.

He said the craft village, founded one and half years ago was deliberately designed to move youths from 'unemployment to a life of productivity and self reliance and even possibly not only self employment but capacity to employ others.

Shema pledged to sustain the programme because of the good sense of responsibility, which the trainees and graduates of the craft village had been demonstrating in their chosen trades.

'It is the intention of the government to strengthen this facility and make it even better, so that we can continue to develop our youths in skill acquisition and have the opportunity of their services not only in Katsina but in the rest of the country'.

The governor particularly applauded the dedication of a cripple, who was begging for alms on the streets of Katsina before his enrolment at the centre.

Said Shema: 'Now, he is a skilled producer of metal and fabricated equipment, he is not only capable of fending for himself but has the potential to employ others to work for him.'

Earlier, the coordinator of the youth craft village, Ismaila Umar Saulawa said over 800 graduates of the centre were already into 10 different trades, courtesy of the state government's financial and material assistance.

Saulawa expressed confidence that other states in the federation would soon be relying on Katsina for skilled craft men and women if the current tempo was sustained.

On the computer department commissioned by the governor shortly before the graduation ceremony, Saulawa said it would, among others train its students for cisco certification and award of internationally recognized certificates.

The youths, at the craft village offer training in GSM handset repairs, tie and dye, pottery and wrought iron, welding and metal fabrication, film and photography, shoe making and leather works, auto mechanics, auto electrical, catering services and the newly commissioned computer repairs and net working.