With 89 per cent of its population being young, Kaduna State Governor Malam Nasir El-Rufai has urged 800 youths exposed to a three-day empowerment programme, sponsored by the Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC) Ltd, to make good use of the training.
El-Rufai, represented by his Deputy, Mr. Bala Bantex, at the opening of the workshop penultimate week, said the initiative which exposed the students to life, business and entrepreneurial skills, keyed into the state’s efforts to get its youth more productive.
“I want to use this opportunity to congratulate all the beneficiaries and advise them to see opportunities provided by this workshop as a chance to drawfrom the wealth of knowledge of the facilitators,” the governor said in a statement signed by Mrs Sade Morgan, Legal, Public Affairs and Communications Director.
“We welcome this initiative as a further contribution and necessary effort to support our youth with vital skills. Kaduna is a young state with 89 per cent of the population being young men and women.
This demography has the potential to become the engine of growth if it is well trained and given the necessary opportunity. On our part, we are responding to these needs in a variety of ways. For instance, we have less than 100,000 people working for the Kaduna State government, only 30,000 of them are youth.
To support them, the government has created the Kaduna Start-up Entrepreneurship programme to equip young graduates with requisite business and entrepreneurial skills.”
El Rufai added that the state was ready to partner with NBC on any youth-focused initiatives.
Country CSR Manager, NBC Ltd, Mr Ekuma Eze, said the firm was committed to helping Nigerian youths to be employable and self-reliant and would extend the initiative to all parts of the country.
“We know this is the beginning of a positive engagement with the state government in terms of empowering the young people. We are always willing and ready to partner with the government to support the youth in releasing their potentials” he said.
The programme featured a session that required the participants to pitch their business ideas to a panel of entrepreneurs who will select the best business idea.
“Our commitment as a business is that we are going to incorporate a company for the winning group after which we would source for funding to enable them actualise their ideas,” he said.