By Laleye Dipo in Minna
The Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, has challenged state and federal lawmakers on the need to partner with governments for youth empowerment.
Bello stated this in Minna on Saturday at the closing ceremony of a one week training programme in various aspects of Information Communication Technology (ICT) for 140 youths which was sponsored by the senator representing Niger East Senatorial zone of the state, Alhaji Sani Musa.
The governor noted that the collaboration was necessary in view of the fact that government resources are very lean to carry out such programme alone, pointing out that the assistance will also check youth restiveness when the young ones are well trained and become self employed.
Bello, who was represented by the Commissioner for Investment, Alhaji Mustapha Jubril, commended Senator Sani Musa for his youth empowerment programme, which he said, has been able to reduce the number of unemployed youths in the Senatorial zone.
In his address, Senator Musa announced plans to open ICT centres in the nine local government areas that make up his constituency.
“In no distant time, we are going to build ICT centres in each of the nine local government areas. We are also bringing modern rural markets to all the nine local government areas,” he said, adding that he will build 60 open shops with different designs in the markets.
He argued that the nation has to match “what the advanced countries will use against us in the future which is ICT” adding that “We have to start learning it today”.
“With these efforts, we also hope to re-engineer our economy and diversify the source of income of our people,” Musa said.
He further disclosed that in addition to the training in ICT-related disciplines, at least 300 youths and women are currently undergoing training in crop production and other aspects of Science and Technology at the Niger State Science and Incubation Centre, Minna and at the Industrial Training Fund (ITF).
He appealed to the youths to refrain from involvement in drug abuse and political thuggery, vices which he said, could ruin their future.
Each of the trainees was given a marching grant of N50,000 by Musa
The ICT training was anchored by the National Information and Technology Development Agency (NITDA).