The North East Development Commission (NEDC) has graduated 76 candidates from an initial 150 youths selected from North East Nigeria after three-month training in automobile technology, welding and fabrication, vehicle and AC maintenance among others at the Peugeot Automoblie Nigeria (PAN) in Kaduna.
The youths, according to the commission, were selected from all the local government areas of the North East on the recommendation of the six governors of the region as part of efforts to address unemployment as well as check youth restiveness.
The Managing Director of the Commission, Alhaji Mohammed Goni Alkali, while speaking at the graduation at the PAN Learning Centre in Kaduna, said following 12 years of insurgency that has ravaged the region, it has become paramount to equip youths with the requisite skills that will make them shun terrorism.
“Most of those who were displaced at the time the insurgency started were children. Now they have become adults and there are no government jobs for them. So, there is need to equip them with skills to ensure they are not easily targeted and indoctrinated and also by this, they will also employ other youths,” he said.
He said the graduating candidates will be given start-up kits as well as an initial cash flow of N25, 000 to start their businesses and advised them to form groups to work together.
He said the NEDC has trained over 2,000 youths across the six states of the region in various skills, adding that more people will be trained in areas of satellite installations as well as metering. One of the graduating candidates, Kaana Abubakar, from Borno State, said the over decade of insurgency that ravaged the region has brought with it unemployment, adding that the NEDC has brought succour in the region through capacity building.