The Office Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (OSSAP-SDGs) is addressing the challenges of poverty and unemployment in Nigeria through provision of state of the art vocational and skill acquisition centres in states across the federation.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals, Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire made this disclosure recently during the commissioning of one of the Centres and block of classrooms constructed and equipped by OSSAP-SDGs in Gombe State capital.
The Skill Acquisition Centre and block of classrooms were named after the Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations, Ms. Amina Mohammed.
It has capacity to train over 1, 200 youths in life-skills annually.
According to the Presidential Adviser on SDGs, the Skill Acquisition Centre is designed to be a strategic tool for economic empowerment of youths through provision training in vocations like Sewing, Fashion & Dressmaking Information and Communications Technology (ICT), Photography, Hair styling & Cosmetology, Barbing, Catering, Tiling & Interlocking, Aluminium Fabrication & Welding, Automobile and Plumbing.
The facility, which is one of the numerous centres constructed and equipped across the country also has provision for short term training in Bead making, Soap making, Make-up Artistry, Event Planning, Painting, Drawing, Weaving, and Shoemaking.
Princess Orelope-Adefulire said massive investments of OSSAP-SDGs in skills acquisition for Nigerian youths is hinged on the realisation that no meaningful progress can be made in the areas of economic development, security and stamping out of corruption in the society without productive engagement of the youths. She also noted that such skill centres are necessary for the achievement of the plan by President Muhammadu Buhari’ administration to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty.
“To achieve the cardinal objectives of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, which is to improve the economy, secure the country and to stamp out corruption in the society, youths must be encouraged to use their hands to work for a living and be productively engaged. There is empirical evidence that investing in youths will lead to poverty eradication, which in turn leads to social security, thereby achieving SDGs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 16, and 17 respectively. This is one fact that makes the Centre key to the attainment of the Global Development Agenda,” Orelope-Adefulire stated.
Further emphasizing the import of the Centre to the attainment of the Global Development Agenda, the SDGs boss maintained that a man/woman that is empowered with the requisite skill set is more likely to conquer poverty, which addresses Goal 1 (No Poverty). This is directly related to Goal 2 (Zero Hunger) as he/she is more likely to be able to feed himself/herself and the family. With poverty eradicated from the family, the probability of attaining Goal 3 (Good health & Wellbeing) as well as Goal 4 (Quality Education for the children) becomes higher. The same applies to Goal 5 (Gender Equality) as empowerment of women is one of the most potent recipes for Gender Equality. In the same vein, life-skills development is crucial to the provision of Decent Works and Economic Growth as evident in Goal 8, promotion of innovation and infrastructural development (Goal 9) as well as in helping to foster peace and justice (Goal 16).
Governor of Gombe State, Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, who commissioned the Centre acknowledged the impact the project will have in addressing the challenges of unemployment in the State and maintained that his administration will continue to work hard to improve Human Capital Development in Gombe.
Also speaking, the Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations, Amina Mohammed commended the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs, Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire for her commitment to the fight against unemployment and laudable steps being taken by OSSAP- SDGs to promote economic development.