Kaduna State Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) on the development of skill acquisition and entrepreneurial empowerment in the state. The MoU, which was signed in collaboration with the Housing Developers Institute (HDI) and the World Bank, would see indigenous youth of the state trained by the Centre for Educational Technology and Entrepreneurial Development (CETED) of NOUN and absorbed at graduation by HDI.
According to a statement from the institution, the HDI will screen students for admission at CETED, while the World Bank will provide workshop materials for the training. The statement said that the government through the MoU, plans to remove idle youths from the street, get them trained at NOUN and absorbed by the HDI with a project to construct 1,000 affordable housing units in the state.
Vice-Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Abdalla Adamu, who said this at the signing of the MoU on Tuesday at the Government House, Kaduna, disclosed that the vision and mission of the university is centered on providing access for affordable and quality education to Nigerians. Prof. Adamu said: “The signing of this MoU today is significant in that there are thousands of youth who left school and have not gained any paid employment.
“By this scheme, NOUN is going to clear thousands of such youths in Kaduna State off the streets, train them on housing technology skills and get them absorbed by our partners in the housing industry who are handling the construction of about 1000 housing units which Kaduna State government is about to embark upon. This, therefore, translates to providing thousands of employment opportunities to the youth of Kaduna State.”
Adamu said that skill acquisition and empowerment was not only important to NOUN as a university, but also to Nigeria in the current phase of its socio-economic life.
The NOUN VC revealed that the institution’s entrepreneurial studies had over 30,000 students. He urged the state government to expand the programme to accommodate women, especially full time housewives, so that they could be economically empowered, adding that the institution was passionate about women empowerment.
“Self-reliance and self-employment is the way to go in this dispensation. That is why 60% of management personnel in the university are women, while 46% of the entire work forces are women.”
Responding, the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Balarabe Lawal, said the government was passionate about youth empowerment, hence the signing of the MoU with the institution.
Lawal said the scheme would open numerous avenues for gainful employment for the youths in the state. He promised to follow the agreement in the MoU to the letter, while pledging to tender the request of the VC to the governor, Malam Nasir El-rufai, with optimism that he (El-rufai) would give a positive thought about extending the empowerment scheme to women.
“We know that women are the first teachers. When they are empowered, they easily transfer that empowerment to their children,” he said.
Earlier, the chairman of HDI, Mr. Afolayan Olabode, expressed delight and readiness to work with the government of Kaduna in its bid to impact the lives of the youths positively. “For us, coming with this skill acquisition scheme is giving back to society. Not until we get the youth skilled, we will not deliver on the project we are embarking upon,” he said.
Note: News shared for public awareness with reference from the information provided at online news portals.