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Friday, August 11, 2017


...young at heart

Our youth must build confidence to sustain self, resist dependence, says Advocate

Eugene Akhamiokhor Ighabor is the Director/CEO of Africa Young Star Concepts, a youth advocacy organisation in Abuja. The 30 year old Masters student of Chemical Engineering at the Federal University of Technology, Minna in this interview, said youth would need to build confidence in what they can do to succeed. By Simon E. Sunday @SimonEchewofun


hen did you start your advocacy campaign? We started this organisation in 2015. We have been in the forefront of promoting youth and children. As the name implies, we are training the youth and the children to become stars of tomorrow. We have been hearing that youth are the leaders of tomorrow, so we want to inculcate the leadership spirit in them to become the best globally. Our slogan is, “catch them young to build a nation’, and in building a nation, you could build a continent. But we can’t build a continent when we have not built the individual so that is what we are doing. What has the organisation achieved so far? For the past two years, we have organised a lot of activities like the leadership seminar for youth which we held in Abuja. We also organised skills acquisition for youth and children and then empowered them in Dutse, y (FCT). a town in the Federal Capital Territory For the children, we have been taking our campaign to primary schools within the FCT where we introduced the Young Explorers’ Club (YEC). This is a new concept that we initiated in schools to promote science and engineering. It is an engineering club where children are taught from videos and through demonstrations could dismantle technological devices like electrical fans and couple them again and even power them with battery. You mentioned the empowerment of some youth in Dutse. How did you do it? At Dutse, we trained the youth on bead making by paying for resource persons who trained them. We also got the materials with which the trainees started their bead-making business after they had trained. Some other persons were attached to tailoring experts to

learn the skills. Due to limited funding, we only helped in subsidising the cost for the beneficiaries but we paid fully for training and start-up kits for the bead-making. What was your challenge starting this venture? When I started, I had just N5,000 but I was determined to push harder and I did. It was difficult for me to get the venture registered but I overcame that. When you have that confidence in yourself and determination that you can achieve things by yourself, then you will go places. Presently, I have 12 persons in the team. While four are being paid fully, the issue of funding is inhibiting payment because the other eight are volunteering but serving selflessly knowing that it’s our service to the development of youth and Nigeria. To fund this, we have good persons coming to assist us but most of the funding has been my savings. I sometimes starve myself to ensure the venture succeeds because of the passion I have for the concept of empowering youth and children. We are appealing to politicians, multimedia, telecommunication and other corporate organisations to key into this project to bring out the best in the youth who are roaming the streets What do you think is the problem of Nigerian youth with your experience so far? The major challenge is the spirit of dependence on government. We lack the ‘can do it’ spirit. The problem we, youth have is not the money for business but the confidence that we can do things by ourselves. So we are leveraging on this to empower youth to have the confidence to start their business.

Anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve. – J.K. Rowling

UNN, Hightech to empower youth on mechanised farming By Chidimma C. Okeke The University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) has signed a pact with Hightech System Ltd to empower undergraduates on agro mechanization initiative to develop their skills and prepare them for a future in the agriculture sector. The pact, which was done under the Higher Institution Tractorization Initiative (HITI) is to help develop agriculture and restructure agro-business platforms through innovation via academic, industry and governance partnership. Speaking at the event in Abuja, the Transactional Adviser to the HITI, Ike Willie Nwobu said the partnership will help students and other stakeholders in the transfer of knowledge and technology for machined-enabled farm practice. Nwobu said the initiative keyed into federal government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) to invest in Nigerians. “It would provide opportunities for our young people to excel and realize themselves which will in addition to developing their skills and empowering them will also reduce restiveness and militancy,” he said. The Vice Chancellor of UNN, Prof. Benjamin Chukwuma Ozumba said, “While providing a major solution to one of our food security challenges, students will have the opportunity to serve as extension staff, learn in practical terms and contribute to their immediate communities while earning good money at same time,” he said.

‘Nigerian youth can be employable if equipped’ From Risikat Ramoni, Lagos The President, Nigerian Institute of Training and Development (NITAD), Mrs Janet Jolaoso has said Nigerian youth should equip themselves with necessary skills to be employable. Mrs Jolaoso who spoke through the chairman of the annual trainers’ conference of the Institute, Mr Oluwaseyi Kuton in Lagos, also said industries are not employing some of the graduates due to lack of basic skills needed to work in such industries. She said this year’s trainers’ conference of the Institute coming up on September 12 in Enugu, will focus on entrepreneurship. She said, “We have discovered that many youths are not employable because of knowledge gap. Educational institutions in Nigeria focused just on academics without skills and when students from such institutions graduated, the industries are not ready to employ them. “NITAD has identified this, so we are encouraging youth to acquire skills in order for them to be employable,” Jolaoso noted.

Students bag GEC Academy’s outstanding awards From Nurudeen Oyewole, Lagos Two graduating students of the GEC Academy International Lagos, Oluchi Nwabuoku and Udeme Ebong have been conferred with the school’s outstanding performance awards. The school’s Executive Director (ED), Mrs Josephine Peters stated that while Nwabioku was recognized for emerging as the best student in International Degree Foundation Programme (IDFP) among the school class of 2017, Ebong was honoured for emerging as the best overall graduating

student. A statement from the ED said the duo were among other students who were recognized at the school’s 6th graduation/prize-giving day ceremony. “It is important for everyone to recognize and appreciate these traits as universal and enviable in nature because these have become inherent in all our students. It is thus my most humble belief that all our students will make use of the opportunities and exposure this school has provided them as a platform to excel in their disciplines in Nigeria and

abroad,” Mrs Peters stated. The school’s Director of Studies, Dr. Ghalib Fahad said the amount of success their past students have been recording in universities across the world testify to the school’s “right formula”. Representative of the Lagos State Ministry of Education, Mrs Ajoke Gbeleyi advised the graduating students to be good ambassadors of their alma mater and Nigeria anywhere they find themselves. She also charged them to return to the country and put into practice “good ideas, and learn good examples from leaders.”

DAILY TRUST, Friday, August 11, 2017


YOUTHVILLE Foundation unveils African youth talents ambassadors By Latifat Opoola @LatifatOpoola The African Children Talent Discovery Foundation (ACTDF), a non-governmental organization has unveiled its ‘ACTDF Unleash Your Talent 2017’ in Lagos. A statement by the foundation said President of ACTDF, Engr. Noah Dallaji, led an array of ambassadors of the foundation and other celebrities that included Segun Arinze and Kate Henshaw at the event. The initiative will hold zonal auditions between August 17 and 19, 2017in Lagos, Enugu, Port Harcourt, Nasarawa, Bauchi, Kaduna, Ibadan/Ekiti and Abuja. Dallaji said the organization has recorded tremendous achievements in the area of provision of humanitarian services to the less-privileged and for which reason it was recognized by the United Nations as a Grade C nongovernmental organization. He said the foundation has paid the education bills of over 2,500 students across the country and beyond, and touching lives positively through offering community healthcare services and helping young children discover their innate potentials. The Unleash Your Talent 2017 audition will majorly feature singing, dancing and acting competitions. It is expected that at the end, three contestants should emerge from each of the eight zones, with the final winner emerging in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on September 1. Winners of the categories of singing, dancing and acting would each get a contract worth N1 million and other cash prizes. They will also accompany the Foundation to the UN Summit in New York, while the first and second runners up of the respective categories would also be rewarded with juicy contracts and cash prizes.

200 volunteers trained to tackle drug addiction in Kaduna By Simon E. Sunday @SimonEchewofun The House of Recovery based in Kaduna state has trained 200 volunteers in the state to help reduce the menace of drug abuse. Founder of the organisation, Hadiza Aliko, in a News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) interview said their target was to boost counselling services which were vital to the war on drug abuse. She said, “People are yet to understand the value of counselling for recovery from drugs. When we counsel them, we help them with tools that trigger them off drugs; counselling helps one to explore and eliminate drug addiction at some points.” She therefore called on residents to break the silence by speaking out on drug addiction so as to help the victims, families and society. Aliko said the organisation is working hard to create warm and trusting space where addicts and their loved ones get the necessary support while the general public acquire information and necessary advice about addiction. According to her, the approach will alleviate the destructive impact of drug addiction on society. She disclosed that the organisation has been engaged by wives of Northern Governors and Kaduna State Government to develop comprehensive activities g addiction in their states. to tackle drug

IFAD trains 56 Jigawa youth on entrepreneurship By Simon E. Sunday @SimonEchewofun


he Jigawa office of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) on Monday said it had selected 56 youth to benefit from its agribusiness training and loan in the state. Malam Sa’idu Ali, the Coordinator, IFAD’s Agribusiness Support Programme in the state, revealed this

to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Dutse. Ali said that the programme would be executed under IFAD’s Climate Change Adaptation and Agro Business (CCAAB). He stated that the beneficiaries of the programme tagged: ‘N-Agriprenuership’, were selected from seven Local Government areas, namely Auyo, Buji, Dutse, Gwaram, Guri, Gwiwa and Taura. The coordinator in a News Agency

of Nigeria (NAN) report added that the beneficiaries comprised 44 males and 12 females. He said the male would be trained in spraying techniques, rice and wheat milling, and agribusiness while the female ones would be trained in groundnut and vegetable grinding. After the training, sprayers, threshers, milling machines, grinding machines and other items would be given to the beneficiaries on loan.

Rotary Club of Abuja constructs N25m health centre in Sauka By Simon E. Sunday @SimonEchwofun The rotary Club of Abuja Metro has begun the construction of a N25 million primary healthcare centre in Sauka, near Apo in Abuja. Speaking at the commissioning, the club’s President, Mr Osi Imomoh said the star project in the community under the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) will benefit over 2,500 persons living in the village with no health facility at present. Mr Imomoh said the project cost is valued at N25 million for the finishing while assuring that it will be handed over to the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) for operation within a 12 month period. He said, “The nearest healthcare centre is about 10 kilometres from this village. We were told two persons had died in the process of being conveyed to the hospital in Apo on motorcycles on the poor access road from here. “We adopted the village since 2013 and since then, we have built a school and handed it over to the FCDA and from the testimony of the Chief of Sauka, the literacy level of the children had risen we are equally hopeful that this health centre will have similar effect of improving the

people’s lives after we hand it over to the FCT,” Imomoh explained. The District Governor for District 9125, Engr. Mbanefo Nnoka, who oversees about 180 Rotary clubs spread across 24 states including the FCT said “the farther the projects are from the towns and cities, the greater their impact on the lives of the rural people.” He charged the community members to take ownership of the centre right from the construction stage to the finishing noting that such projects of Rotary have been abandoned in certain communities after they were transferred to them.

Nnoka also said the workforce will be sourced from the community, while auxiliary nurses will be trained to complement the workers to be sent in by government. The Sarki of Sauka, Chief Bala Daudu Zaki Said he was happy about the project while assuring that community members will give full support to the realising of the project. “Since this school was donated to us by the Rotary club, the literacy level of our children has improved. Some of these children here can now speak English because of the school that was brought to us,” Chief Zaki said.

 From right: The Sarki of Sauka, Mr Bala Daudu Zaki, President, Rotary Club of Abuja Metro, Mr Osi Imomoh and the District 9125 Governor, Engr. Mbanefo Nnoka laying blocks for construction of a primary healthcare centre in Sauka, near Abuja yesterday.

Corps members urged to lead anti-corruption fight From Linus Effiong, Umuahia The Director General of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Mr Sulyman Kazaure, has urged corps members to lead the fight against corruption in their primary places of assignments. Mr Kazaure explained that the future of the country is in the hands of the youth and they must live up as ambassadors and face the tasks ahead of them. Speaking in Abia State during his visit to the Orientation Camp in Bende, Kazaure warned the Batch A, Stream II corps members against perpetrating acts of corruption in their places of assignment. The DG who was represented by the Director of strategies and mobilization, Mr Frank Ekpunobi said, “Wherever we find ourselves we should try and kick out this monster called corruption, let us see Nigeria as

our own country. Make Nigeria the best Nation in the world. Please promise Daddy (DG) that you will make Nigeria great.” He, however, advised unemployed ex-corps members not to wait for white collar jobs, but insisted they should engage in legitimate businesses for survival. “Don’t wait for ‘white’ collar jobs, even if it is recharge card or even buying and selling. Do any available legitimate business no matter how small it is. I don’t want my children, after service, to say there is no job. Create jobs for yourself. The State Coordinator, Mrs Francesca Mfon thanked the Director General for the visit and said the orientation camp was facing erosion problem and electricity challenge and appeal to NYSC boss to intervene.

You have h to love l what you do, to want to do it every day – Aaliyah

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