Ne­glected youth cen­tre

Daily Trust - - STAR FEATURE -

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.

are kept.

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