In­side Kano’s n

Daily Trust - - STAR FEATURE -

be­come a re­al­ity we mo­bi­lized phi­lan­thropists, cor­po­rate bod­ies and gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials from far and near, Lagos, Abuja and where ever we could get fund­ing. We took the model to the Fed­eral Min­istries and the agen­cies to get them to come to our aid, but none of them re­sponded. We were lucky the late Gen Sani Abacha was the Min­is­ter of Defence then, and he bought the idea. The then gover­nor of Kano State, Ar­chi­tect Kabiru Ibrahim Gaya linked us with the Kum­butso lo­cal gov­ern­ment Chair­man to ac­quire the land on which the in­sti­tute was built to­day. Abacha was the Chief launcher and it was at the launch­ing that we de­cided to name the place af­ter him, based on his con­tri­bu­tions to make the es­tab­lish­ment of the youth de­vel­op­ment in­sti­tute a re­al­ity.”

He main­tained that the Cen­tre within 30 years of its es­tab­lish­ment has re­al­ized many of its ob­jec­tives. “The Cen­tre has trained well over 50,000 Nige­rian youths in var­i­ous fields of hu­man en­deav­ours. When the com­puter age came about the staff of Min­istry of Fi­nance were not com­puter lit­er­ate and most of the staff were sent here for train­ing. The Kano state gov­ern­ment at a time was bring­ing its youth here for train­ing. It even di­rected its 44 lo­cal gov­ern­ments to send their youths here for train­ing in var­i­ous skills. But the prob­lem is when the state gov­ern­ments send their youths here for train­ing, for us to get them to pay has al­ways been a prob­lem. It may take up to four or six years to pay us for the train­ing we of­fered to their youths. Our train­ing is prac­ti­cal in­ten­sive be­cause most of them have not been to school at all, and oth­ers might as well be half-baked. It was not easy do­ing it as a con­ven­tional school. We have to chan­nel our en­ergy in the prac­ti­cal as­pect of what we want to train them to be.

We don’t get any grant from any­where not even the gov­ern­ment. The Fed­eral Min­istry of Youths and Sports in the past used to give us an an­nual grant of N50,000, but it was too mea­ger. They stopped giv­ing it to us over 10 years ago, but we were not de­terred be­cause we have a mis­sion. We know Nige­ri­ans youth wants to en­gage in use­ful vo­ca­tions. What they lack is spon­sor­ship to ac­quire skills. Be­cause of poverty some of them could not fin­ish school, some could not ad­vance their lives to what they want to be­come. We want to cush­ion th­ese ar­eas, so that they could have a skill to be use­ful to them­selves and to the so­ci­ety.

“For over four years now Kano State gov­ern­ment has not brought any of its youths here for train­ing, and it is ow­ing the Cen­tre over N40 mil­lion. Even though there was a MoU be­tween the state gov­ern­ment and this Cen­tre, they have not been com­ply­ing. They came here last year that they wanted to turn this place to a tech­ni­cal school. They were think­ing Sani Abacha Cen­tre be­longs to the gov­ern­ment. The gover­nor then sent of­fi­cials from the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion with­out in­volv­ing the Man­age­ment of this in­sti­tute. They just came here but when our lawyer said okay if they wanted to take it they must com­pen­sate us, they turned away and in­stead in­vited us for a Mem­o­ran­dum of Un­der­stand­ing. It was agreed that af­ter ev­ery three months the state gov­ern­ment would send trainees that would take all ses­sions of our pro­grammes, but up till this time no one trainee has been sent here from Kano state gov­ern­ment for the past four years. This Cen­tre is in Kano and we have been hav­ing youth em­pow­er­ment pro­grammes,

En­trance to the Sani Abacha Youth Cen­tre.

Store where dam­aged fur­ni­ture

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