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832 Persons Orphaned By Boko Haram Graduate From Borno Vocational School

Among them, 54 graduates specialised in aluminium fabrication, 29 in bricklaying, 48 in carpentry and 73 in information technology.

Babagana Zulum

A total of 832 artisans, mostly orphaned as a result of the over a decade-long Boko Haram insurgency, have graduated from the Borno State Enterprise Institute.

The event was presided over by the Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum on Tuesday at the Muna Vocational Enterprise Institute, along the Dikwa-Gamboru highway in Jere Local Government Area.

The trainees were selected from across the 27 local government areas of Borno State and have undergone training in 14 different trades; among them, 54 graduates specialised in aluminium fabrication, 29 in bricklaying, 48 in carpentry and 73 in information technology.

Others include: 41 specialising in barbing, 46 in electrical work, 85 in leatherworks, 40 in plumbing, 72 in mechanics, 67 in solar technology, 148 in tailoring, 18 in tie and dye, 59 in welding and 53 in hairdressing.

In his address, Zulum said similar vocational institutes were established in Biu, Shani, Mafa and Magumeri. At the same time, he revealed that plans were being made to revive vocational centres in Dikwa, Kaga, Ngala, Gajiram and Monguno.

The governor noted that the vocational institutes were established to address the challenges of youth unemployment and provide a means of livelihood to the people.

He said: “Upon assuming office, one of the primary objectives of my administration has been youth empowerment. We were acutely aware of the devastating impact of insurgency on our communities, leaving many without means of livelihood and leading to widespread unemployment, idleness, and despair. As the saying goes, “an idle mind is the devil’s workshop.

“To address these challenges head-on, we established Vocational Enterprise Institutes, focusing on admitting vulnerable individuals, particularly those affected by the insurgency, to equip them with skills for sustainable livelihoods.”

Earlier in his address, the Commissioner for Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, Lawan Wakilbe said with funding allocated by  Zulum to the Technical and Vocational Enterprises, the output across all centres is targeted at over 4,000 artisans annually.

Meanwhile, the governor has approved the distribution of starter kits worth N847,277,297 to each of the 832 trained artisans in addition to another N349,440,000 one-year labour-intensive public work grant that will help them attain self-reliance.

Zulum also approved N41,600,000, with each 832 graduating artisans getting N50,000. The governor equally approved automatic employment for the 64 best artisans who have achieved over 90 percent.

He said: “I understand from the remarks by the Hon. commissioner that 64 out of 832 have scored above 90 percent in both their specialised trades and the academic assessment.  I, therefore, direct that all 64 of them should be employed and deployed to other vocational institutes across the state.”

Zulum also ordered the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation to process modalities for converting Muna Vocational Enterprises Institute to a Monotechnic with the capacity to award a National Diploma.

Michael Olugbode

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