Why Gov Zulum prioritizes skills acquisition
By:– Yakubu Ahmed-BK
When Borno State Governor Professor Engr Babagana Umara Zulum, Mni Fnse, tinkered with the idea of constructing a first class vocational training institute at Muna, near Maiduguri early in the life of his administration, he was sure it will play a key role in taking thousands of people out of the malaise of unemployment.
By the time the institute in Muna was half way into its construction, it dawned on him that he had to, in view of the promise it held, build more so that many more people would benefit.
As at today, six others have been built in Magumeri, Mafa, Monguno, Dikwa, Kwaya Kusar and Marama. The one in Marama was started by the community but was taken over and completed by the Zulum administration.
The idea was to provide a way out of extreme poverty for IDP grown ups who, because of the more than a decade insurgency, which interrupted education pursuit, have grown out of school age parameters. They had no peace and time to learn any trade and they could not go to primary school due to age barrier either. A boy or girl that was 7 or 8 years at the start of the insurgency is now way above 17 or 18 and at this age, government’s quick intervention becomes necessary to shield such vulnerable minds from falling prey to being radicalized by criminal gangs.
More than 15 trades and courses have been lined up to be taught in the institutes. They include what have been classified into soft and hard trades. They are, among others:
6. GSM repairs
7. Hairdressing & Costomology
8. Electrical installation
9. Plumbing & pipe fitting
10. Leather works
11. Aluminium & fabrication
12. Tailoring & fashion
13. Solar works/installation
Each institute is expected to admit and train1500 young men and women each year. At the end of their training, each graduate will be given start up grants and will be mentored and monitored by the state government up to the point goods and services are sold out or to the point where each trainee settles into his or her discipline.
The full pledged and fully equipped institutes have been described by many as the best state government owned vocational training schools in the country with wide range of relevant and modern courses which reflect the needs of the society.