ActionAid Nigeria empowers 750 youths with vocational equipment valued at N41 million

ActionAid Nigeria in partnership with Participation Initiative for Behavioural Change in Development (PIBCID), under the supervision

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ActionAid Nigeria empowers 750 youths with vocational equipment valued at N41 million
Some of the vocational equipment


ActionAid Nigeria in partnership with Participation Initiative for Behavioural Change in Development (PIBCID), under the supervision of the Kogi State Government, have empowered 750 youths in Kogi State with over nine vocational skills’ equipment valued at N41 million.

Our Kogi State Correspondent reports that the Country Director of ActionAid Nigeria, Ene Obi, made the disclosure at the handover ceremony of Youth Income Generating Livelihood Equipment, to the beneficiaries, selected from various communities in the state.

Obi, who was represented by the Impact Assessment and Shared Learning Manager, Mr. Samuel Ikani, stated that two years ago, when they flagged off the “System and Structure Strengthening Approach against Radicalisation to Violent Extremism (SARVE II) Project in Kogi State, they promised to support vocational skills training for 750 youths and thereafter provide starter-packs for them, to kick-start their businesses.

She noted the promise has now been fulfilled.

Her words: "While young women and men seek opportunities to invest their potentials, they are often negatively affected by poverty, marginalization, unemployment, and under-employment, and often find themselves lacking the necessary literacy, capabilities, and skills to overcome these issues.

"This makes them a vulnerable target of recruitment by violent extremist groups that exploit their frustrations and vulnerability. With Kogi State's 38.97% unemployment rate and 28.81% underemployment rate according to the quarter 4 of 2020 report of Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS), youths of the state stand the risk of being vulnerable to possible recruitment by a violent extremist group.

"Given this, ActionAid Nigeria and PIBCID with funding from the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund, (GCERF) took steps in reducing the vulnerability of these youth, through the provision of vocational skills training to boost their income generation by making them entrepreneurs as a panacea in the prevention of violent extremism in Kogi State.

"Some of the results achieved through the SARVE II project include, 1,614 persons (youth-600 men, 505 women: 509 adult women) reached, with useful life skills to keep them engaged and away from the influence of extremist groups; capacity of 30 police officers built to respond to rising issues on violent extremism through the crucial Human Rights-Based Approach (HRBA) while working closely with community policing structures that already exist.

"In the same vein, 6 Local Government Conflict Management Alliance (LOCMA) structures were established in 6 LGAs in Kogi State to prevent conflicts from the communities and promote peace at large. In Kogi State, the project supported the enactment of the Kogi Youth Development Commission Law which is designed for the inclusion and engagement of youths in government and the creation of more employment opportunities within the state.

She added that this will further reduce the vulnerability of youths to violent extremism, as efforts are also being made to achieve the same in Nasarawa State.

"ActionAid is an organization that is dedicated to the fight against poverty; its vision is a world, without poverty and injustice, in which every person enjoys his or her right to life with dignity," she noted.

On why Actionaid is embarking on youth empowerment, the Manager Humanitarian and Resilience Actionaid Nigeria David Habba said the challenges the nation is facing today is due to negligence of the young people.

"Youths came together in the 60s to build the first republic. At some point, there was a break. This is the foundation of Nigeria problem" he observed.

He noted that successive government in the country had failed to recognize the youths stressing that, if the talent of the youths are not properly harnessed, the country will continue to suffer.

The humanitarian manager added that the government is expected to invest in the youth to put an end to violence extremism.

According to him, investment on the youths, would end incidence of banditry, kidnapping, insecurity, rape and other social vices will be a thing of the past.

Goodwill messages were delivered by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Sustainable Development Goals, (SDG), Chief of Staff to the Deputy Speaker of Kogi Stats House of Assembly, Executive Chairman Kogi Local Government Area, the State Director, National Orientation Agency, (NOA), National Directorate of Employment, (NDE), Kogi Non Governmental Organization, (KONGONET),  Board Chairman of PIBCID, and the Executive Director of PIBCID Halima Oiza Sadiq.

The Handing over ceremony of livelihood equipment to project beneficiaries by Actionaid Nigeria will also be done in Nasarawa State.

The program is funded by Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund, (GCERF).

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Odimayo Olatunde Frederick
graduate of Mass Communication and Kogi State Correspondent of Fresh Angle International Newspaper
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