Speaking at the graduation ceremony of the trainees, Mr Mohammed Alkali, the NEDC Managing Director, said the commission would provide starter packs to the youths trained on computer graphics and cell phone repairs, in addition to N20,000 cash to enable them establish their businesses.
The commission expects to disburse a total of N4,080,000 million under the initiative, with a view to making them self reliant.
Alkali noted that the Northeast had the lowest literacy rate and was highest in poverty, among the nation’s geo-political zones due to prevalent insurgency, thus, the need for human capital development initiatives in the region.
“In our last meeting, we mentioned that we are going to graduate 200 beneficiaries from each of the states and at that time, Bauchi had 176. However, today, out of the second batch, Bauchi has 204.
“In total, out of the two batches, we have 380 graduates and for those graduating today, it is my pleasure to congratulate you all and urge you to utilize what you learnt, to be good ambassadors in the state.
“To further support your successful completion of the training, I want to mention that each of you will be provided with free starter packs and the sum of N20,000 incentive for start-up capital,” he said.
The MD reiterated that the commission would always remain committed to ensuring that youth development was given topmost priority, through training and job creation.
He expressed his appreciation for the Bauchi state governor’s earlier gesture of providing the sum of N50,000 to each of the graduates in the first batch, and pleaded for such a gesture to be extended to the second batch.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the NEDC also donated 10 tractors to the state government, in addition to 18 power tillers, 10 planters, 10 boom sprayers, 18 power trailer bodies, among others, to boost the production capacity of small holder farmers, as well as farming activities in the state.
Also speaking, Gov. Bala Mohammed recalled how the NEDC had been very meticulous in providing ICT training to the state’s youths, as well as provision of agricultural machinery and inputs to the state government.
He observed that the two intervention areas were basically driven by the youths, most of whom were suffering from unemployment thereby leading them to restiveness and social vices.
Represented by Alhaji Baba Tela, his deputy, Mohammed said that such intervention would serve as a catalyst for mitigating the menace of unemployment and making the youths more productive and responsible citizens.
The governor, who noted that NEDC had been a major stakeholder in the provision of infrastructure not only in Bauchi state but in the whole of the Northeast region, urged the graduates to be extremely focused and work towards becoming employers of labour.
“It is our hope that you will utilize the knowledge and experience you gained, as well as use the starter packs, in the pursuit of self reliance and entrepreneurial development,” he said.