Statement by Mal. Nasir Ahmed El-Rufa’I, Governor of Kaduna State on International Youth Day, 12th August 2017.
The theme of International Youth Day 2017 is “Youth Building Peace”. The youth play a great role in determining the level of peace enjoyed in a community. This is because the present generation of youth are the largest and comprise the highest number in our history. It is evident that most countries bedeviled by armed conflict or upheavals have a high percentage of youth, hence the need for us as a people to invest in the livesof our young persons.
For us as government in Kaduna State, we have recognized that as agents of change, young persons are critical actors in conflict resolution, prevention and sustaining peace. If the youth are not engaged into profitable ventures, they may become tools in the hands of negative forces. That is why our policy and resources are channeled towards youth development. In our effort to build our youth to contribute to our development, we have recruited 2,250 teachers, 2,550 KASTELEA marshals and 1,245 health workers who are all young persons. We recognize that government alone cannot engage all the youth, hence we have provided a conducive environment for private sector investments who are already proving their capacity for job creation, such as:
◦Olam: 10, 000 jobs
◦Vicampro: 30,000 jobs
◦Mahindra Tractors: 2,000
In addition to these, we are providing intervention funds for Small and Medium Enterprises, especially with the Bank of Industry and the Bank of Agriculture. We are also providing layers of training for our youth to increase their capacity for job-creation and employability. Our graduate entrepreneurs can acquire much needed business skills and access to finance through the KADSTEP, the Kaduna Start-up Entrepreneurship Programme. Young people are being given training in construction industry trades through KADAT, the Kaduna Artisan Training Academy. We are also funding practical training for tradesmen in electrical technology and electronics through the Kaduna Electrical, Electronics and Energy Academy (KADEEEA).
I therefore call on our youth to take advantage of our policies and interventions in order to build a resilient society where peace and justice reign.
On this day of the celebration of the World Youth Day, I congratulate the youth of Kaduna State, and I urge them to use all the energy, vibrancy and optimism of youth to advance peace, harmony and sustainable development in our state.
Thank you and God bless our youth.