The representative of Niger East Senatorial District, Senator Mohammed Sani Musa, has trained 140 youths in Niger State in various aspects of Information and Communication Technology.
This is as 1,000 students went home with N50,000 each.
The beneficiaries were drawn from the nine local government areas making up Niger East, namely: Chanchaga, Bosso, Paikoro, Gurara, Suleja, Tafa, Shiroro, Munya and Rafi.
The five-day training covered computer appreciation, web design, digital poster and banner designs as well as digital card designs.
The training was anchored by the National Information and Technology Development Agency, which provided the facilities and facilitators for the training.
At the closing ceremony, Senator Musa disclosed that the decision to train the youths was borne out of his passion to empower the youths with requisite skills that will make them self-reliant.
He frowned at the involvement of youths in drug abuse and political thuggery, which according to him, should not be encouraged.
According to him: “I have children at home.
“If my children will not be on the street engaging in political thuggery or drug abuse, I will give my best to see that other children do not go on the street.
“I also believe our youths have the potentials to be at their best if given the necessary support.
“Hence, the training is geared towards making them realise their dreams and putting their potentials into profitable ventures.”
Musa emphasised the importance of ICT, which, according to him, is the driver of modern economy.
He said: “We have to match what advanced countries are going to use against us in the future.
“And that is ICT.
“We have to start learning it today.”
Musa further disclosed that in addition to the training on ICT, at least 300 youths and women are currently undergoing training in crop production at the Niger State Technology Incubation Centre, Minna and other aspects of science and technology at the Industrial Trust Fund.
The lawmaker revealed that training will also commence for 180 teachers of Science and Technical expertise in the senatorial district, to be facilitated by the Institute of Scientific Innovation, with 20 beneficiaries to be selected from each of the nine local government areas.
Musa further disclosed that 1,000 secondary and tertiary schools students will benefit from a scholarship scheme he has instituted to assist indigent children.
He explained that students studying medicine will also benefit from the scholarship scheme, which would soon commence.
He stated: “In no distant time, we are also going to build ICT Centres in each of the nine local government areas.
“We are bringing a modern rural market in all the nine local government areas.
“We will build 60 open shops with different designs.
“With that, we will re-engineer our economy and diversify the source of income of our people.”
Earlier on, Governor Abubakar Sani Bello, who was represented by the Commissioner of Investment, Dr. Mustapha Jibril, had commended Musa for the kind gesture.
Bello expressed optimism that with the contributions and support by the lawmaker, the state government’s goal of reducing unemployment rate in the state would be realised.
He said: “Senator Mohammed Sani Musa has shown that it does not take 100 years to transform the lives of the people.
“In less than a year and six months, we have seen the giant strides he has been able to make in the lives of our people.
“I believe by the end of four years, he would have transformed the entire Niger East.”
Other speakers at the event, including the Director-General Small and Medium Enterprises, Faruk Audi; Coordinator of the Social Investment Programme in the state, Amina Lucy Guar; and former Commissioner of Water Resources, Abubakar Azozo, also commended the efforts of Musa at enhancing the livelihood of his constituents by extension the masses in the state.
“Now I can earn money on my own without depending on anyone. The knowledge I have acquired here is no doubt a lifetime asset that I will forever cherish,” said a beneficiary, Angelina Ibrahim Yohana.
Another beneficiary, Shehu Idris, from Munya Local Government, said: “I am going to be an employer of about too.
“Because this training is sure not just for only me.
“I am going ahead to train other people too and, hopefully, have my own business where I can also employ youths to work for me.”
“I am overwhelmed to be part of this training. No more going to the streets,” Shafi Mohammed from Rafi Local Government said.
At the end of the training, Senator Musa also gave N7 million grant to the 140 trainees.
Each of them went home with the sum of N50,000.
In addition, a tablet, a training certificate and an ICT manual were donated to each of the beneficiaries to enable them carry out their businesses.