THE 177 Guards Battalion of the Nigerian Army, Keffi has trained and empowered 77 Nasarawa State youths at the Shitu Alao Barracks with five skill sets.
The Director of Operations, Nigerian Army Headquarters, Maj.-Gen. Emmanuel Ejim-Emekah, said this at a graduation ceremony organised for the participants at the Shitu Alao Barracks.
Ejim-Emekah said that the training was intended “to make the participants self-reliant and self-employed”.
He lauded the Commanding Officer, 177 Guards Battalion, Lt. Col. Auwalu Inuwa, the initiator of the programme, “for his foresight and determination to engage idle youths with skills that will make them self-reliant”.
“I am quite impressed and happy with Inuwa for this initiative, which is in line with the key philosophy of the Chief of Army Staff, which is the welfare of troops and their families that is the key pillar.
“I commend you for this laudable initiative and urge you to sustain it,” Ejim-Emekah said.
He advised the youths to utilise the skills acquired at the training maximally to be gainfully engaged in order to sustain and support themselves and their families.
“They say the idle man is the devil’s workshop.
“With this empowerment, you are no longer idle.
“So, we expect a good turnout in the barracks and it’s environs,” Ejim-Emekah said.
He warned them not rely solely on formal education and neglect the skills they have acquired as there is no guarantee of government jobs.
“In the age that we are in and if you go to the developed countries, it is people with skills that are making the most money because of the skills they have.
“So, the best form of welfare they have given you is to teach you a skill.
“It doesn’t stop you from going to school,” he said.
Also speaking, the Commander, Guards Brigade, Col. Adebisi Onasanya, expressed delight with the empowerment programme and thanked Inuwa “for coming up with the initiative and seeing it to fruition.
“It is very important to ensure that youths of this age and time are well engaged.
“Inuwa deemed it fit to train the youths of this community not in one, not in two but in five different skill sets.
“I can imagine the ripple effect of this effort on the community at large.
“So, I thank the Commanding Officer for the initiative,” Onasanya said.
He urged the beneficiaries to reciprocate Inuwa’s gesture and the Nigerian Army by improving on the skills learnt and utilising them to be fully engaged and self-reliant.
In an address of welcome, Inuwa said that he was motivated to embark on the programme by the reports of thefts in the barracks.
He further said that “despite the ejection of those caught”, he decided to initiate the programme so the youths could be gainfully engaged, instead of engaging in thievery.
“We still felt an effort should be put in place to engage the youths in the barracks community, which led to the introduction skill acquisition programme in five areas,” Inuwa said.
He said that the participants were trained in catering, barbing, hairstyling, computer and cosmetology.
He assured the participants that they would be supported with start up kits so they could begin to put the skills they acquired into use.
The Programme Supervisor, Miss Mariam Azeez, said the programme commenced on October 5, adding that they conducted classes three days every week at the centre.
“We had 22 students in ICT, 19 in catering, 15 in cosmetology, 13 in hairstyling and eight in barbing,” she said. (NAN)
December 1, 2023 @ 15:46 GMT|Tags: Maj.-Gen. Emmanuel Ejim-Emekah