Neglected youth centre
why is it difficult for Kano State government to take care of its youth empowerment? This is one of the leading Centres in the country.
Before, Katsina State used to send its youths here for training under the former President, late Umar Yar’adua. When he was governor he directed all the local governments in the state to this Centre, and when he became president he sent some of his Ministers here. He even included us in his Amnesty Programme because he wanted the Sani Abacha Centre to train some of the Niger Delta youths. They came to inspect our facilities and even budgeted huge amounts of money to renovate the Centre to suit the interest of the militants, but unfortunately after his death things changed.”
The institute’s Public Relations Officer, Mallam Yahaya Shu’aibu Ungogo said the course fee at the Centre was meager. For government sponsorship he said the Centre charges N35,000 and N15,000 respectively for individuals, for the period of three to six months duration, including accommodation. “The training programme required huge consumable materials and we must pay our staff. Most of the state governments are not serious on the issue of training and empowering their youths. They are spending little out of what is meant for the youth empowerment programmes. We have over six million unemployed youths in the North-West alone, based on the statistics available to us. Yet we can stay here up to six months without any training for the youth. The international donor agencies have been coming with grants, but anytime they come they arrive with their own programme which does not tally with our own, and they want us to follow it. This is the problem we have been having with them. We have been involved in several committees and policy reviews carried out in this country.
“Look at our local governments, they spent over 10 million naira buying motorcycles for people, yet they could not afford to train their youth. The 10 million naira will train over 500 youths. At a time we had to discharge 67 members of our staff, because we couldn’t pay their salaries. We pay our staff from what we get from our commercials. We have a theatre centre, a swimming pool and an events centre. People hire them for marriage ceremonies and other festivities. These are where we get what we use to pay our staff. There are times we couldn’t even pay salaries for up to six months. When some individuals come to sponsor youths in any of the skills, we reduce our charges from N35,000 per individual to N15000 for them. If governments are serious they may not necessarily fund us, but bring in both the schooled and unschooled youths for us to train. No one needs to go to school before he can be trained here. All they need to do is to choose a course that will make them selfreliant. We can accommodate over 2,000 youths at once in our facilities.”
He stated that the institute last year under the industrial training fund programme by the Ministry of industry, trained 1,120 at the same time for the federal government. “We hosted 500 youths from Yobe State government, along with another 520 youths from the Kano State government. We sent a Memorandum of Understanding to Kano state government to train 8,000 of its youths within 4 years of this administration. If government agencies can be hosting programmes for the youths it might not be enough to take care of all the challenges we have in this country considering our population, but it would go a long way in addressing them. Right now, only Yobe State government in the North is seen as being serious in addressing the issue of youth unemployment and empowerment based on its efforts so far in training them. Last month we graduated 2,000 of its youths here, and it spent N130 million for their settlements. Each trainee from the state got N200,000 for their equipment. The governor is proposing to send another batch of 500 youths here, probably by next month to be trained.”
The institutes Director of Administration, Mallam Aliyu Rumfa observed that women were never excluded from the youth training courses at the institute. “We have women hostels here as well. There is a training programme this October for 1,000 youths and 200 of them are women. It was given to another institution that will just give us the hosting rights and our staff and facilities are going to be used for some charges that are meager. This is what they normally do. There are some syllabuses that are not included in the National Technical Board syllabus, but we have them here. We designed a curriculum and they included it in their syllabus as a modular programme. There is no standard curriculum for the repairs of GSM and motorcycles, it was from here that we designed them. We sat down with some experts and came up with the curriculums. Most of the junior staff of the media houses in Kano was trained here. We have sent a proposal directly to the president. This is the first time we are doing that, because we have been wasting our time sending them through the ministries and agencies. We believe the president has received it and we are waiting for response from the federal government.”
Its Director of Education, Mallam Umar Sulenkuka maintained that the institute was able to achieve this much because it collaborated with the universities. “For instance, the Faculty of Adult Education of Bayero University is giving us a helping hand. Some of the professors have been coming to the Centre when there is demand for their assistance. The Federal Ministry of Youths, its state counterparts and the NYSC have also been supporting us to achieve this much. The Industrial Training Fund (ITF) is responsible for the training of most of our staff. For our obsolete equipment we have set up a committee to look into this, and they have submitted their report on the way forward. All that we need is funding.”
Obsolete computers at the institute.