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An afternoon at Katsina Village Craft Centre

Hajara Abu-Zaydu, 24 and 18 others came all the way from Niger Republic to Katsina State for a six-month training on tie and dye under…

Hajara Abu-Zaydu, 24 and 18 others came all the way from Niger Republic to Katsina State for a six-month training on tie and dye under the Katsina Youths Village Craft programme.

She told Weekly Trust that she got admission into the centre about two weeks ago. She said “I was impressed when I came to the centre because I found the place to conducive for learning. I am sure I will be transformed after graduation from the centre.”

“After graduation, I will establish my business when I go back to Niger and will teach others how to also be self-reliant. The training we are receiving is impressive. One can master the skills within a short time because the teachers are serious with their jobs,” she narrated.

She thanked Governor Shema for the initiative, saying “what impressed me much is that even though I am a foreigner yet my colleagues, and I was accommodated without discrimination.”

Usman Abba Alkali is a Bsc. Education graduate from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria but he put aside his degree and joined the centre for a three month, training.

Graduating in 2009, Alkali said, “I got an offer from the Nigeria Police Force but I refused to go and instead, I joined the Youths Craft Village to equip myself with additional exposure leather works.”

“The training will serve as an alternative means of income to me and indeed, to my family members because it is a business that can be relied upon,” he said.

Asked why he decided to join the centre despite acquiring a degree, Alkali said, “I am not regretting joining the centre because it is better for me to associate myself with craft than to beg people to help me.”

The rising level of unemployment among the most productive and restive segment of the society (the youths) will continue to create unpleasant socio-economic and political infringement if the problem are unaddressed.

It is desirable for youths managers at all levels of governments to re-focus on this menace with a view to ensure that many youths become self-reliant.

It is in the pursuance of this objective that the Katsina State government established a youth craft village to engage youths in various trades initiated to serves as source of jobs to the teeming youths in the state.

The programme was designed to provide self-employment training to over 2, 000 youths on 16 different trades in the state annually. So far, 11 trades have been established, while the remaining will be established gradually.

Weekly Trust learnt that currently the centre is training youths in still film and photography, catering and home management, leather works and shoe making, computer repairs and networking, auto-mechanic, tie and dye, pottery and rough iron, welding and fabrication, auto-electrical, GSM repairs and carpentry have been commissioned at the centre. Recently, the centre also launched a fault detecting machine for the auto-mechanical students.

About 2,000 youths have graduated from the centre since inception. The first phase comprised 650 youths, 400 dump the second phase and 300 trainees during the third phase of the programme.

Government is also providing soft loan package to the graduates of the craft village to enable them start their own businesses while a resettlement package is being given to 10 best students of the centre by the state government.

Alhaji Sulaiman Nuhu Kuki is Special Adviser to Governor Shema on Science and Technology. He told Weekly Trust that similar centre will be established in Daura and Funtua senatorial districts this year.

In addition to that, Kuki added, Katsina state government, in collaboration with the federal government will establish Technology Incubation Centre in the state this year, adding that land has been provided for the centre.

He said N600m has been set aside for the establishment of the Katsina ICT Institute in the state this year, the government in collaboration with the federal government, is also planning while an Independent Power Project (IPP).

Asked on the motive behind recruiting Niger nationals, Kuki said the aim is to tighten the existing relationship between Niger and Katsina state and Nigeria in general.

Yusuf Sulaiman is another new intake student of tie and dye in the centre. He told Weekly Trust that, he wanted to be self-reliant after graduating from the centre. His words, “I want to be on my own after graduation. I am undergoing a six months training and when I complete, I will teach those who were not opportune to come here.”

“I have no intension to work under the government or private company; I want to establish my own business after graduation from the centre. I will work hard to be among the 10 best students to benefit from government resettlement package to enable me start my business,” he said.

Unlike Alkali, Abdulazeez Usman is a secondary certificate holder, who recently joined the centre to acquire a one year training on welding.

“I am from a poor family and I decided to join the centre because I cannot continue with studies due to my family’s financial predicament. I will love to further my studies but since my parents cannot sponsor me, I decided to join the centre so as to become self-reliant,” he said.

Idris Musa Kankia is a GSM repair student in the centre. Like his colleagues, Kankia want to become independent after graduating from the centre.

“I am the first born in my family and decided to join the centre to help my parents take care of other members of the family. I commend governor Shema for the initiative because it is helpful, especially to the youths,” he said.

He appealed to beneficiaries to reciprocate the gesture by paying more attention to their respective disciplines, saying, “the only thing we can do to reciprocate the gesture is to pay attention to the training so that we can be on our own at the end of the programme.”


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