Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri
European Union as part of its plan to bring stability to North-east Nigeria has targeted 600,000 individuals in Borno State alone, being the epicentre of the Boko Haram insurgency for various interventions to rehabilitate them..
The Union, which through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) execute the programmes in the North-east, listed four core areas of interventions, which include infrastructure, livelihood, social cohesion and peace building, and local governance.
The EU programme of assistance, which started in December 2017 in the troubled region, recorded another success on Friday with 200 youths and women graduating from a three-month training in various vocational skills in the field of agriculture from the Mohamet Lawan College of Agriculture, Maiduguri.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony in Maiduguri, Muhammad Khan, the Emergency Livelihoods Specialist at the UNDP who represented the Head of Maiduguri Sub-Office, Mizuho Yokoi said the United Nations Agency would continue to support stabilisation and early recovery of Borno State.
He revealed that 600,000 persons were targeted under the EU support programmes with 15,000 households to benefit, out of which 2,400 persons would undergo vocational training and another 4,682 would be assisted in agriculture and 1,200 in non-agriculture scheme.
Khan told the graduates that: “Graduation is one of the important phases of life. After graduation you must be part of a more practical world. “In this era of practical work, you have to become a symbol of success for others. Your skills should be like the candle who lightens many more candles, so you have the responsibility not to practice this acquired skills for yourself but also to train the other vulnerable youths.
“We know the demand for vocational skills trainings is high and available resources are limited and government or INGOs or UN agencies cannot address all the needs, so you must join hands for the accomplishment of this task of sustainable livelihoods and resilient nation.
“After graduation, UNDP plans to support the qualified beneficiaries with start-up business grants so that you can practice and establish business as per your acquired skills.”
Also speaking at the graduation, the Provost of Mohamet Lawan College of Agriculture, Mukhtar Alkalli, said the beneficiaries had conducted themselves in a very responsible way in spite of the challenges they had to go through.
He added that their zeal to acquire the required skills was commendable.