By Muhammad Nasir Bishir
Dutse – The Jigawa Government on Tuesday said it had provided skills and employment opportunities to no fewer than 134,344 people in the state in the last three years.
Gov. Muhammad Badaru told newsmen in Dutse that the beneficiaries were mostly youth and women.
“So far, from 2015 to date, we have been able to actively engage and empower 134,344 citizens under various programmes that are carefully designed, with entrepreneurship and sustainability in mind, targeting mostly youth and women,” he said.
Badaru said creating opportunities for self-actualisation, through targeted empowerment programmes, formed the cardinal objectives of the sustainable growth and development agenda of his administration.
The governor further said that his effort was an improvement on the previous administration’s approach to economic empowerment, which was largely based on stereotyped skills, with no viability or sustainability.
According to him, his administration has adopted a demand-driven and skills gap approach, with an assessment team deployed to every Local Government Area to identify specific trade and enterprise gaps.
He said the intention was to fill such gaps in a profitable and sustainable way by matching each intervention with the gap identified.
Badaru said that a standing steering committee he headed, was meeting monthly to assess progress or otherwise of each empowerment programme, on a zonal level, and make adjustment where necessary.
He also said that his administration had embraced Federal Government’s Social Intervention Programme, adding that the state was the most successful in both the Cash Transfer and Home-Grown School Feeding programmes,
He disclosed that they had over 42,000 cash transfer beneficiaries in only nine Local Government Areas, with a target of 140,000 across the state in the next few months.
“Jigawa is also currently complementing Federal Government’s initiative of feeding primary classes 1 to 3 by taking up the responsibility for classes 4 to 6, to feed over 722,000 pupils daily, employing over 7,000 cooks,” he said
The governor also disclosed that during the period under review, his administration spent N52.4billion on road and electrification projects, among other projects.