Ahead of his 60th birthday celebration, a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Tunde Lemo is disclosed plan to launch an empowerment initiative for the Nigerian youths tagged, ‘Lend a Helping Hand.’
Lemo, who is the Chairman, Board of Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA), said the initiative was borne out of the staggering unemployment rate (36.5%) among the Nigerian youths which constitutes a very serious socio-economic problem in the country.
According to him, the empowerment scheme is an intervention programme aimed at equipping interested unemployed youths- graduates and non-graduates- with vocational skills that would either enhance their employability or prepare them for self-employment.
And to realise the initiative, “We have identified three reputable vocational institutions with proven track records for training programmes and they are: Peter Akinola Foundation: Youth Centre for Industrial Training, Abeokuta; Auto medics, Ilupeju Bye-pass, Lagos; and Etiwa Nigeria Limited, Lekki.
A statement quoted Lemo to have explained that the institutions have over time, proven track records in the training and development of youths and in many cases assist in the employment of their graduates.
According to him, the programme would initially cover specific disciplines in auto mechanics, masonry and other construction skills; agriculture, catering, fashion designing and, would also include enhancing youth Information Technology capabilities which would accommodate a minimum of 100 eligible youths per annum at the estimated cost of N25 million.
In the estimation of the promoter of the initiative, the programme would run for an initial period of 5 years (2020 – 2024), with a total estimated cost of N125 million.
He said his family has offered to provide 20 per cent of the funding, which translates to N25 million.
“We are hoping to raise partners who will commit to participate in the program in different highlighted categories of Platinum, Gold and Silver with stratified numbers of youths’ sponsorship”, Lemo explained.
He further clarified that the programme, “provides opportunities for other donors willing to assist but who are unable to participate at the partners’ categories to indicate level of donations either as one-off or annual commitment.”
Lemo stated that all contributions would be accounted for; reports provided annually and, “distributed to all our partners and donors appropriately, indicating that all donations are to be made directly to beneficiaries through the payment of school fees to the participating institutions.”
“All administration and associated costs of running the initiative are to be borne by the celebrant and the family,” Lemo concluded.