Khadijat Saidu, Birnin Kebbi
Kebbi State Government has reassured youths about its commitment to improving the social and economic well-being towards strengthening their capacity as productive members of the society.
The reassurance of the government commitment was reinforced in an Interactive Session among various youth groups and top echelons of the incumbent administration in Birnin Kebbi organized by Ministry of Youths and Sports.
The mutual dialogue, was organized by Ministry of Youths and Sports held at the Conference Room of the Ministry was moderated by the Commissioner of the Ministry, Dr Abba Sani Kalgo.
In attendance were the Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Alhaji Aliyu Gidado Kaliyal, the Commissioner for Information Communication Technology (ICT), Alhaji Abdullahi Muhammad Magoro, the Commissioner for Animal Health Alhaji Aminu Garba Dandiga, the Commissioner for Information and Culture, Alhaji Mahmud Warrah, and Commissioner-Designate, Alhaji Hayatu Bawa.
Others who participated in the Discussion Forum were the Special Adviser to the State Governor on Security Matters, retired Major Garba Rabi’u Kamba, Special Adviser to the Governor on Media, Yahaya Sarki, Permanent Secretaries and Directors.
The gathering was in consolidation of an earlier meeting held in the office of the Commissioner for Youths and Sports last week.
The meeting was also an aftermath of the courtesy visit to Governor Atiku Bagudu by the members of the Coalition of Nothern Groups (CYG) at the Government House, Birnin Kebbi.
On that occasion, Governor Bagudu directed the relevant ministries to convene an expanded Interactive session with all the youth groups and Civil Society Organisations, to reappraise topical issues in the country, following anti and pro-police rallies in some States of the Federation by the youths.
Leaders of the Northern Youth Groups had informed the governor about their support to the Nigeria Police Force and the formation of the new police unit known as Special Weapons and Tactics, SWAT, to replace defunct SARS, but urged him to create employment opportunities for the youths in the state.
At the mutual discussion this Tuesday, in his Opening remarks, the Commissioner for youths and Sports, Alhaji Gidado Kaliyal, expressed confidence about the ability of youths to become vanguards of development of the society.
He said that myriad of opportunities was available provided by the Kebbi State Government and other organisations for the youths to utilise for economic prosperity.
The Commissioner for Budget and Economic Development, Dr. Abba Sani Kalgo, told the discussants that the forum was not to apportion blame on anybody about the challenges facing the State and the Nation.
Rather, they should forge ahead on uplifting the living condition of youths through gainful profitable ventures.
The Commissioner for Information and Culture, Alhaji Mahmud Warrah, said the Ministry would provide free services on issues of sensitisation, public enlightenment and announcement pertaining to empowerment programs, agricultural schemes or entrepreneurship in form of radio and television jingles and programmes, as well as in the print media.
The Special Adviiser to the Governor on Media, Yahaya Sarki in his short remarks advocated for greater synergy between the CBN, NIRSAL, the Donor Agencies and the Ministry of Information and the Press for the creation of awareness on the availability of the various FGN interventions for the youths.
Paper presenter, Dr. Usman Buhari Gwandu, enumerated numerous grants and loan schemes in Nigeria, Africa and at the global levels which youths and women could access to attain self employment.
A Representative of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SME), Alhaji Nasiru Bello, lamented the high rate of unemployment among the youths, especially graduates of Universities and Polytechnics.
In mitigation of this, he said, president Muhammadu Buhari set aside seventy-five billion Naira for the youths to access through the SMEs to start businesses of their own.
Alhaji, Nasiru Bello informed the session that interested applicants on-line could receive from two hundred and fifty thousand naira to three million-naira soft loans.
He commended Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State for setting the pace in agricultural revolution in the country through rice production, advising potential beneficiaries to utilising services by the SME.
Similarly, Spokesman of NIRSAL Micro Finance Bank, Malam Aliyu Abdulrazaq, explained Federal Government’s resolve towards assisting youths to engage in commercial schemes.
He spoke about the National Youth Initiative Fund (NYIF), through which youths could obtain money to expand an existing business or start fresh business ventures.
The Representative of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Alhaji Sabo Altine, made reference to numerous intervention schemes by the CBN towards tackling unemployment in the country bolstering youth empowerment and agricultural production.
He said that, several loan packages with minimal interest were available to enable the youths, not only be self employed, but to become employers of labour.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Security Matters, retired Major Garba Rabi’u Kamba, responded to an inquiry on security issues involving women.
He explained that, security was a sensitive matter on which the State Government has placed optimum priority.
A participant, Yakubu Danjuma, who represented Youth Wing of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), advocates for such interaction be held regularly with participation by the members of Faith-based Organizations.
Others who made contributions to the mutual dialogue were the Special Adviser to the Governor on Women and Social Development, Hajiya Zahra’u Abubakar Atiku Walin Kalgo, Mansur Isah Banza, President of Students Union Government, SUG, Muhammad Muhammad Majo, of Arewa Consultative Council, Deputy Director Finance, ICT Ministry, a Representative of Commonwealth Students Youths Association and Muhammad Muhammad Gulma of Kebbi Society forum, among others.
In a closing remark, the Commissioner for Information Communication Technology (ICT), Alhaji Abdullahi Muhammad Magoro, made it clear that Kebbi State Government under the incumbent administration of Governor Atiku Bagudu, has created intervention Schemes covering all aspects of Society and human endeavours, to improve the quality of life of the people.
He announced that, the ICT Ministry would create a Portal of Database of which people worldwide could access Information about all facets of societal development towards creating awareness on vital information including schemes and programmes on empowerment.
He expressed special appreciation to all stakeholders for helping to keep Kebbi State peaceful and secured.
The Commissioner further commended youths in the State for self-restraint and being disciplined by engaging in peaceful rally, devoid of the orgy of carnage.
The Majority Leader, Kebbi State House of Assembly, Alhaji Faruq Aliyu Nasarawa and Alhaji Shehu Mashal, the Chairman of Jega LGA who double as the state ALGON Chairman as well as the Deputy National President of ALGON also witnessed the consultative forum