The Nigerian Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) and Rotary International have commenced training of more than 400 youths on entrepreneurship, fundamentals of leadership and skills development.
The training programme, Director, Youth Development, Hajarat Titilayo Alayande disclosed this during the flag off ceremony at the FCTA Youth Development Centre in Nyanya, Abuja .
The participants, drawn from different states of the federation were also trained on self awareness, management, employability skills development, healthcare and social vices as well as overcoming drug abuse temptations, among others.
“it is our belief that for them to be good leaders in the future, they have to have discipline because during the period, we have Man o War to drill them in the mornings and evenings and ensure that they conform with the rules of the camp. They will also be exposed to skills development and at the end of the week long programme, they should be able to produce something.
“We also expect them to learn and propagate this understanding and message to other youths that they need extra skills, in addition to conventional education because multiple skills is required for survival in an economy like ours,” she explained.
Alayande further stated that the one-week programme was funded by Rotary International, while her organization only hosted and provide the enabling environment, as well as produced over 300 of the bags given to the participants.
“The Centre will also train those who are interested in satellite and solar installation technologies and waste recycling. Other skills like bead making and food processing, among others would be anchored by Rotary,” she added.
In related development, the Director disclosed that the Secretariat, in collaboration with a non-governmental organization, Global Women and Youth Development Initiative, unveiled a campaign for learning of skills, tagged: “I am not too young to learn a skill.”
According to her, it was the visiom of her organization to provide “at least one youth in every home to have a skill to support him or her earn extra income for a living so that they do not become depended, even before going into higher institution, and it will not distrupt their academic activities”.
While calling on other organisations to also come out and partner with the Youth Centre in developing youths, Alayande explained that such programmes would help keep them off crimes and other social vices for the benefit of the society, in their respective states.
Earlier, the Governor, District 9125, Dr. Victor Onukwugha, during his goodwill message, charged the youths to develop themselves, stressing that the country’s independence in 1960 was won by youths, mainly of ages between 20 and 40.
“The future is yours, but only if you prepare. What we need is good citizens who are discipline and are well trained, and that is what we hope to prepare you for. I will closely monitor you for the next one week and make judgement on your performance,” he added.
Dr. Obiora Okonkwo charged the youths to be humble, sacrifice and learn so that their future would be brighter.
“Surrender yourselves to the rules and discipline. Stay focused. We all have sacrificed our time and resources so that you would have this opportunity, so take it seriously, imbibe the virus of rotations. The only way you can justify our time and resources is to be committed and learn.
“Lower yourselves, be humble and learn. There is no future without knowledge. You are the future of Nigeria. I am sure that within this week, you will be what you want to be if you work hard,” Okonkwo said.
One of the participants, Msugh Jeremiah Shimasaan who spoke to journalists said that his expectation was to get the best he could to develop his leadership skills and acquire other skills that would improve him and other youths.
Mr Shimasaan, an undergraduate from the Benue State University and a memeber of Rotary Club of Makurdi while urging the youths to make the best of every opportunity they have, advised them not to waste their time on things that could not add value to their lives, noting that time was of very essence and once wasted could not be regained.
“Let youths keep to strict time management. Time revolves around everything we do. When you use your time effectively and creatively, with seriousness, motivation and creativity, you will discover that every other thing falls in place”, he emphasized.
Another participant, Sulaiman Rasidat Oluwakemi, a student of the University of Ibadan, said her expectatiom was to explore and network during the programme.
“Networking in the sense that it will be an opportunity to meet and connect with new people, share ideas and skills, and build lasting career and business networks and learn new things.”
Miss Sulaiman who was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Abuja, reminded the youths that they could only become leaders of the future if they develop themselves well.