The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) said it trained over 150 displaced youths, women and men from the Northeast in various entrepreneurship skills, competences and behaviours.
The UNDP’s Country Director, Samuel Bwalya, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Monday that the training, which was conducted in the three most affected states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, was to help them start their small businesses successfully.
He noted that the Northeast had witnessed widespread destruction of both infrastructures and livelihoods by the Boko-Haram.
“Mostly drawn from communities ravaged by the nine-year long crisis, the trainees either had their businesses destroyed by Boko Haram or have found themselves residing in new locations with no means of sustaining themselves and their families.
“UNDP, with support from the Government of Norway, has provided vocational skills training in metal fabrication, tailoring, catering and decoration, mobile phone repairs, computer repairs, mechatronics, spray painting, among others to victims of insurgency.
“The provision is part of efforts aimed at providing catalytic ingredients for communities to thrive again and lay a foundation for long term development to take place in a region,” he said.
He said the beneficiaries were also supported with start-up equipment so that they could secure alternative means of livelihoods beyond humanitarian handouts.
Mr. Bwalya said that over 1.7 million people remained displaced across the region while hundreds had fled into neighbouring Cameroon.
“Not only have skilled labour become rare in communities because of mass displacement, victims have either lost their sources of livelihood or have their breadwinners killed by the insurgent group.
“Many have remained dependent on humanitarian aid. Entrepreneurship skills are needed to ensure that those with vocational skills, who wish to either own businesses or to start anew, run their enterprises successfully,” Mr. Bwalya said.
Mr. Bwalya said UNDP was investing in these initiatives so that beneficiaries could apply knowledge acquired from these trainings to establish new businesses or expand existing ones and employ others within their communities.
“This will consolidate UNDP’s ongoing efforts in meeting urgent early recovery needs in communities affected by Boko Haram crisis.
“UNDP has been investing in early recovery interventions in the region to prepare communities for the days after the crisis.
“Prolonged development deficit in the region exposed millions to different kinds of vulnerabilities, a reality also attributable to the root causes of the crisis,” he said.
He said UNDP was in the process of developing a comprehensive programme aimed at promoting entrepreneurship in Nigeria.
According to him, the programme will be anchored on three pillars; employable through market driven skills acquisition, innovation and entrepreneurship including financing for small businesses.
“Once launched, this programme will support the development of entrepreneurship and promote innovation in the country, to address unemployment, especially among youths,” he said.
Nahyani Waraya, one of the trainees, at the end of the six-day entrepreneurship training workshop said that her life as a business woman would never be the same again.
“I will not run my business the way I did it before UNDP trained me on how to become a successful entrepreneur,” she stated.
Another trainee, Susannah Geoffrey, a 39 year-old mother of five, said that she was teaching in a primary school in Madagali before the place was attacked in 2015.
She commended UNDP and said that the training helped her to understand how to do business and succeed, adding that she would impact the knowledge acquired on others.
Another beneficiary, Mohammad Murtala, from Maiduguri said the training was first of its kind and thanked the UNDP for impacting knowledge on him.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony, Haruna Furo, the Permanent Secretary of Adamawa State Emergency Management Agency, urged the graduates to apply their newly acquired knowledge for their businesses to succeed.
Mr. Furo commended UNDP for the initiative, stating that the intervention would go a long way in changing lives of people in the state.
“Thank you, UNDP for the support and for investing in our people and our communities,” he added.
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: To advertise here . Call Willie +2347088095401...