by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
Single men and women, who were given money by government to marry in the past and were abandoned after the marriage ceremony, with no means of livelihoods, have again been empowered by Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State.
Special Adviser to the Governor on Skills Acquisition, Hon. Amina Iliyasu, who disclosed this in a statement she issued, also lauded the governor’s zeal and commitments towards transforming youths of the state through training on various trades and vocational skills.
The gesture is to ensure that unemployed youth are empowered to fend for themselves and take care of their families, and to reduce incidents of armed banditry, kidnapping, rape and other anti-social activities, which according to her, were products of joblessness.
The statement, made available to our correspondent in Kaduna on Sunday, also indicated that the gesture was aimed towards making the youth self-reliant, saying that the program has been designed to achieve its desired goals.
While noting that, these crimes have been drastically reduced to the barest minimum in the state, the special adviser stated that, the commencement of the programme would uplift Zamfara youths by giving them a better livelihood.
The statement added that, “Also married men and women, who were abandoned in the past after being given money to get married with no means of livelihoods, have been empowered by Governor Matawalle,” adding that, unemployed youth could now fend for themselves and take care of their families.
Also speaking on the kind gestures of the First Lady of the state, the special adviser said those, who were abandoned, especially the rural women, have been given twenty thousand naira (#20,000) each, from the office of Wife of the Governor, as empowerment to kick-start small businesses to enhance a better living.
The youth are not left out of this kind gesture, as Zamfara Social Intervention Programme (ZASIP) empowerment scheme is also giving out ten thousand naira (#10,000) monthly to sustain themselves.
She said the governor understood immediate and remote causes of insecurity; so, had set machineries in motion towards addressing the problems from the roots, adding that the governor detested scratching problem from the surface and leaving it to manifest in future in a different or similar form.
She added that the governor has made the return of over 25,000 IDPs caused by armed banditry to their homes, which swelled up the number of unemployed youth across the 14 local government areas of the state, thereby necessitating the renovation of some centers, which gave room for World Bank to have provided several equipments like computers, tailoring machines, knitting machines and many more in eight centers to give room for full commencement of the skills acquisition program in the state.
“We were at the threshold of almost losing it all due to bad leadership of previous administrations, which did little to address governance-based challenges in the state,” the special adviser noted.