In response to the growing rate of unemployment and idleness amongst the youths which has threatened the stability and resilience of communities across Nigeria, the Institute of Governance and Social Research (IGSR), Jos, organized a three month Skill Acquisition and Economic Empowerment Programme for 250 vulnerable youths in Plateau State. These youths were drawn from the 98 wards in the 5 Local Government Areas of Plateau Central Senatorial Zone (Bokkos, Kanam, Kanke, Mangu and Pankshin).
The programme was sponsored by Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF) as part of the project titled: The Youth and Peaceful Coexistence in Community: The Plateau Case (Round II). The programme was designed to empower youths between the ages of 15 and 35 from the 5 LGAs with skills, with the view of building stronger communities less susceptible to radicalization and violent extremism.
Beneficiaries of the programme were trained for three months in several trades of their choice such as tailoring, shoe-making, satellite installation, catering, upholstery, barbing, household and beauty products, amongst others.
Following the successful conclusion of the Skill Acquisition Training Programme, IGSR organized a one day Basic Business Training for 232 successful beneficiaries at the Pankshin Youth Centre, Pankshin and National Union of Teachers Hall, Mangu on the 1st and 2nd of July respectively. The programme was intended to equip these youth with basic business skills such as Book-Keeping, Knowledge on Co-operatives and Funding Sources, and Business Environments. These trainings will enable them develop and grow their newly acquired skills into prospective businesses. Experts from different professional backgrounds such as Dr Haggai Gutap (Director General, Plateau State Microfinance Development Agency), Mr Kabiru Mohammed, (State Chairman, Association of Non-Bank Micro-Finance Institutions, Plateau State) and Mr. Yakubu S. Maisamari (An Agronomist and Retired Banker) were invited as resource persons to train these youths in the selected thematic areas.
The Chairperson of the occasion, Dr Plangsat Dayil (Lecturer and Director at Center for Gender Studies, University of Jos) commended IGSR and its sponsors for training and empowering the vulnerable youths in the area at a time where it is most needed. She admonished them to utilize the opportunity given to them and use it as a platform to empower other youths. The Senior Programme officer of the Institute of Governance and Social Research (IGSR) commended the commitment of the youth throughout the duration of the training. He also observed that although 250 youths commenced training, 232 successfully qualified for graduation. He further said that each of the 232 qualified beneficiaries will be awarded a grant to aid them start-up their own businesses.
Stakeholders from the five local governments including the District Head of Kabwir, representatives of Pankshin Local Government Council, the Waziri of Bokkos and Women leaders from Bokkos and Kanam were present to witness the occasion. Delivering their goodwill messages, they urged the beneficiaries to make IGSR and their communities proud by ensuring they do not abandon their training but instead utilize it to the benefit of the state and country.