ActionAid Nigeria in partnership with Global Peace Development and Beacon Youth Initiative has empowered 750 youths in Nasarawa state with vocational skills equipment worth N38 million.
Country Director of ActionAid Nigeria, Ene Obi, disclosed this on Friday, in Lafia at the handover ceremony of youth income generating livelihood equipment to the beneficiaries cut across the three senatorial district of the state.
“Today ActionAid Nigeria together with her Nasarawa partners, Global Peace Development and Beacon Youth Initiative, under the supervision of the Nasarawa state government will be handing over six vocational skills equipment worth N38,000,000 (105,555.555 USD) to 750 youths in Nasarawa state,” she said.
She said the beneficiaries were trained across the six vocational skills which include tailoring, hairdressing, shoe and bag making, ICT, phone repairs and Carpentry from 12 communities in six local government areas which are Obi, Akwanga, Nasarawa Eggon, Nasarawa, Toto and Lafia.
She added that this will further reduce the vulnerability of youths to violent extremism.
“Given this, ActionAid Nigeria, and her partners 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 and making them entrepreneurs as a panacea in the prevention of violent extremism in Nasarawa state,” she said.
The country director said while young women and men seek opportunities to invest their potentials, they were often negatively affected by poverty, marginalisation, unemployment, and often find themselves lacking the necessary literacy competencies, capabilities, and skills to overcome these issues.
She said, “This makes them a vulnerable target of recruitment by violent extremist groups who exploit their frustrations and vulnerability with Nasarawa state’s 29.83% unemployment rate and 31 06% 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.”
In his remark, the Nasarawa state governor, Abdullahi Sule, who was represented by the state commissioner of Youth and sport development, Bala Usman, commended the ActionAid for their efforts towards reducing unemployment rate in the state, just as he assured them of his support at all times.