Owed several millions by state governments, this centre has almost gone to sleep, but it has capacity to turn around the lives of 6 million unemployed youth in the North West
It was created out of a desire to mobilize and re-direct the thinking of the largest segment of the Nigerian youth to acquire the necessary skills that will enable them become self-reliant and useful members of the society, against the hitherto prevailing situation where they are becoming agents of violence, political thugs, area boys, yandaba and victims of drug abuse.
The Institute for Youth Development, popularly known as Sani Abacha Centre in Kano is apparently the biggest and most celebrated youth development Centre in the Northern part of Nigeria. Within 30 years of its establishment it has graduated over 50,000 youths from different parts of Nigeria and neighbouring countries like Niger Republic, Benin and Chad, in various fields of technical, vocational, agriculture, remedial and computer programmes. Its founders are: Alhaji Abubakar Isa, Alhaji Aliyu Rumfa, Malam Umar Sulenkuka, Alhaji Rabiu Bako who is presently serving as Commissioner for Commerce in Kano State, and others.
It was obvious that founders of the institute had noble ideas for setting up the place- going by its magnificent state of the art structures, conducive surroundings and the quality of the courses at the Centre, but their dreams and vision may not take long to die, except government and its relevant agencies quickly intervene to save their lofty idea of massive youth empowerment through vocational, technical, agriculture, remedial and computer programmes, which was the primary essence and objective of the Centre from becoming an illusion.
When our correspondent visited the famous Abacha Youth Centre it was shocking to find that despite it immense contributions to the development of youths in the country through its numerous training programmes to promote skilled and semiskilled manpower, most of its teaching equipment have become obsolete. Its furniture, classrooms, hostels and other teaching materials were in a sorry-state due to lack of funding, support and a backlog of debts by governments and their youth empowerment agencies.
Apart from the fact that many of the state governments in the North do not take advantage of the opportunity that the Centre offers to train their youths in various skills that are available at Sani Abacha Centre, the few ones that took their youths there for training, are yet to redeem what they owe the institute in the last four to six years now. It was gathered that Kano State government alone owes the Centre more than N40 million for the past four months now.
Speaking to our correspondent on the mission of the institute, its Director of Commercials, Mallam Abdulsamiu Musa said it was initially the Kano State Youth Movement. “When we decided to have branches in other states and acquired a National Certificate by registering with the Corporate Affairs Commission it became Youth Movement of Nigeria. “Initially, we were getting jobs for youths from the ministries, agencies and other corporate bodies. The youths would come to us and we would write introductory letters for them to take to the work places and they would be offered jobs. With time we realized those jobs were not forthcoming, so we decided that we should have a youth training Centre. For this to
Another elegant building in the centre.