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Fighting Poverty to Engender Peace

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IMAGE: Mallam Isa Yuguda, Bauchi State governor »


The Bauchi State Government through its youth-centred programme, Youth Upliftment and Gender Development Agenda recently provided employment to 4,000 unemployed youths and women to check poverty and anti-social vices in the state. Segun Awofadeji writes
The emergence of  Mallam Isa Yuguda as the governor of Bauchi State following the outcome of the 2007 election in the state was a milestone in the history of the state. It could as well be described as a revolution. This revolution however, created its own problem based on the high expectation of the people who voted him as their governor.

As much as the government is determined to deliver the dividends of democracy, the issues of unemployment and poverty occasioned by lack of skills among the youth in the state continue to be a challenge.

Thus, gangsterism commonly referred to as SARA SUKA in Bauchi (dreaded political thugs), which entails the use of lethal weapons in major disagreement whether social or political has become a commonplace in the state.
Really, rampant drug abuse amongst the youths in the state often leads to violent acts, particularly among the young men while the young ladies drift easily into prostitution.

It is important to note that this societal degeneration, occasioned by poverty, has become a major concern for Governor Yuguda who continues to roll up his sleeves to fight poverty in the state.

It is in this context that Governor Yuguda found it necessary to develop a programme of action designed to ensure that this young population which constitutes over 55 per cent of the total population of 4.6 million people (2006 national census) are engaged in activities that will channel their energy into a productive enterprise.

For this, a committee was set up by the state government to fashion out strategies for engaging the youths in meaningful activities.
Thus, an agency for youth and women rehabilitation and development, which is called the Bauchi State for Youth & Women Rehabilitation and Development (BACYWORD), was birthed with a clear-cut mandate to implement medium and long-term strategies aimed at providing palliative interventions to address the empowerment needs of the state’s teaming youth and women.

Speaking during the recent graduation ceremony of  the 4,000 youths and women after a 2-week long training at the Adult and Non-formal Education Institute, Kangere, Bauchi State, Governor Yuguda said his administration was conscious of the fact that poverty  was responsible  for the high level of youth restiveness, prostitution and street begging, hence the need for the intervention.

He explained that the government took bold step to redress the ugly trend by further creating job opportunities for these categories of people including people with disability, believing that through these processes, vacant seats in the civil service, the military and Para-military services would be filled with required skills in the future.

The governor further said that already BACYWORD had empowered about 127,041 unemployed youths and women since its establishment in 2007 and it has taken women through various intervention programmes which included educational placement and entrepreneurship support.
He assured those who graced the occasion that his government would step-up effort to reduce poverty in Bauchi state before its tenure ends in 2015.

According to Yuguda, other programmes being implemented by his government are being undertaken through the ministries of Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation, Women Affairs, Youth and Sports, and Agriculture, while explaining that the deliberate policy actions are geared to positively impact on the lives of the youths in order to change their conditions from that of hopelessness to that of hope and bring attitude change in their mindset.

According to him, it is against this leveraging that the state government scaled up interventions by engaging an additional 4,000 youth and women across the state under the Youth and Gender Upliftment Development Agenda (YOU-GUDA), saying the programme YOU-GUDA will engage youth in various community services such as health, education, security, sanitation, and environment, with each of the young people engaged in the programme receiving a monthly allowance of N10,000.

He said the programme has given special attention to women and physically challenged, stressing that the success of youth and women empowerment is unprecedented in the Northeast sub-region.

Commenting on a new World Bank intervention scheme, the governor  disclosed that all is set for the take-off of the first phase of Youth Employment and Social Support (YESSO) programme billed to start in the third quarter of this year.

Governor Yuguda who also disclosed that the World Bank has agreed to support Bauchi State by empowering 12,350 youths and women during the first phase of the scheme, appealed to the well-to-do within the state to help government by ensuring that all taxes and revenue of the state were paid into the coffers of government to enable his administration to continue with its human development initiative.

Earlier, the state Commissioner for Commerce and Industry who is also the acting chairperson of the state Economic Planning and Recovery Committee, Hajiya Amina Mahmud Katagum disclosed that the selection of the 4,000 beneficiaries was conducted through a transparent process with 10 participants drawn from the 324 wards across the 20 Local Government Areas of the state.

The commissioner identified areas the YOU-GUDA beneficiaries would operate to include; health education, security, sanitation and environment, pointing out that they would provide back-up services in these sectors at the local government levels.

THISDAY checks revealed that apart from over 500,000 youths and women that have registered for skill acquisition and economic empowerment programmes across the state, the state government has paid for about 2,000 students to re-write their NECO/WAEC as well as U.M.E examinations in the state.

Also, interest free loans of over N500 million has been disbursed to artisans and local traders to enhance their businesses by the present administration, while the training of 50 indigenes in welding and fabrication at Naval College, Sapele has also been sponsored by the government.

The Special Adviser on Projects/Due Process Office, Mr. Aliyu Jibrin said: “This administration has within the past seven years of its stewardship executed a lot of policies, programmes and projects aimed at promoting the well-being of the citizens of this state.’

“And most of these  policies,programmes and projects were possible, because of the enabling peaceful environment in the state, as a result of the accommodating nature of the state Chief Executive ,Malam Isa Yuguda which resulted in the influx of strangers from neighbouring states of Plateau, Yobe and Borno for a safer haven found in Bauchi. ’’

Article Credit: Thisdaylive

Updated 4 Years ago

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Tags:     Bauchi State Government     Mallam Isa Yuguda     BACYWORD     Mr. Aliyu Jibrin