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FG reiterates commitment to addressing plight of out-of-school children



The Federal Government has reiterated its commitment to address the plight of out-of-school children and other vulnerable young people in Nigeria, using the platform of the At-Risk-Children Programme (ARC-P).

Special Adviser to the President on Social Investments, Mrs Maryam Uwais, reiterated the commitment while speaking at the closing ceremony of a three-week capacity building programme for 649 ARC-P youth facilitators in Kaduna State.

Uwais, in a statement issued on Friday and made available to our reporter, said that the 649 facilitators were drawn from the 23 Local Government Areas of Kaduna State.

She said the programme was critical for a secured and sustainable future for the underserved children and vulnerable youth in Nigeria.

Uwais, who is the facilitator of ARC-P, a Federal Government’s initiative under the auspices of the Office of the Vice President, said that the just-concluded training was in line with ARC-P’s implementation strategy.

The implementation strategy, according to her, was designed to empower the youth facilitators with the necessary knowledge, skills and the wherewithal that they need to effectively engage, empower and nurture the primary beneficiaries of the scheme.

“Each of the youth facilitators would be assigned a minimum of 50 vulnerable children whom they are expected to groom and mentor using the knowledge gained during the capacity building programme.

“The facilitators are expected to conduct basic monitoring and evaluation of activities with the assigned wards and give periodic reports to the implementation team,” Uwais said.

She reminded the facilitators that they were expected to obtain parental and guardian consent for each of the primary beneficiaries, before proceeding with the training, mentoring and nurturing which they had been prepared for.

The Presidential aide tasked the graduands to stay focused on the objectives of ARC-P as they proceed to the field to carry out their primary assignments.

“With the conclusion of the three-week exercise for Youth Facilitators, Kaduna has become the second State, after Gombe, to commence the implementation of the At-Risk Children Programme.

“The past couple of weeks saw the youth facilitators trained and equipped by resource persons from various Federal and State Government, as well as developmental partners.

“These include UNICEF, UNODC, UBEC, Legal Aid Council, National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, National Eye Centre, Rural Electrification Agency (REA), Office of the SDGs, Resource and Support Hub, and more.

“The development partners conducted numerous training sessions, including: ICT, Renewable Energy, Photography & Videography, Health and Nutrition, Leatherworks, Catering, and Building.

“Others are how to manufacture Plaster of Paris (POP), tiling and interlocks, welding and fabrication, agriculture, as well as automobile maintenance training facilitated by Peugeot Automobiles Nigeria (PAN) Limited,” Uwais said.

The statement also quoted the Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, Dr Hadiza Balarabe, as commending the Federal Government for embracing the ARC-P.

Balarabe said that the initiative was in line with the poverty reduction strategy of the Gov. Nasir El-Rufai administration in Kaduna State.

“Kaduna State under El-Rufai believes that only vibrant, skilled and knowledgeable cooperation can move Kaduna and, indeed, Nigeria forward.

“This is why this government has paid a lot of attention to human capital development.

“We are pursuing policies and programmes that will make Kaduna State residents physically and mentally healthier and focused on providing free and compulsory basic education to all children.

“We are providing skills through technical and vocational education especially to our young ones” she added.

nigeria news

Emmanuel Oloniruha

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