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Foundation trains over 600 vulnerable youths to acquire skills in 5 years

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The Ladi Memorial Foundation (LMF) has given lifeline through training to over 600 vulnerable youths on skill acquisition, within the past five years the founder and Executive Director of the foundation Mrs Rosemary Osikoya, has said.

Osikoya who was former commissioner for education and later Environment in Kogi State said the foundation is aimed at empowering the youths and women to be self-reliant while providing them with a platform to acquire life-changing carrier coaching and mentoring.

“Since five years ago that the NGO has been in existence, we have been rendering vocational services to both in and out-of-school students at various levels.

“We have so far trained about 600 youth, most of them vulnerable in the society. We are helping them to access livelihood equipment and to give them hope,” she said.

Osikoya explained that 54 students in public school and dropouts were enrolled for the pilot public school co~curricular TVET Project, which was flagged off on July 8, 2021; while the club meetings commenced on July 26, 2021.

She said the trade skills taught were basic garment making for men, women and children; bag making, catering craft Practice: baking and confectionaries, and food preparation.

She added that the foundation provided the training free including consumables, equipment, learning tools, textbooks among others, and supported by generous individuals and organizations, which was acknowledged by the Schools’ TVET Champions 2021 Awards.

Osikoya stressed that most of those trained by the NGO were school drop-outs but were reintroduced to school, adding that, their self-esteem had increased.

“For this programme, we registered 54 people who went through our training for a period of six months. I am happy to announce to you that we are graduating 32 youths today.

“Skill helps to build and develop their personal capacity, which is the whole idea of the training.

”A total of 35 candidates were enrolled for NABTEB modular trade exams December 2021 in both JSS/GSS Pyakasa, Abuja, and out of school youths/women in Lokoja.

”The NABTEB modular trade Exams that were taken include: Baking and confectionaries, Food preparation, Pattern drafting, and Garment construction & finishing,” she said.

The executive director described the programme as a huge success considering the number of youths that it had helped to take off the street.

She, therefore urged educational institutions at various levels to adopt modules in skills acquisition, so as to equip students with skills that move them away from unemployment after school.

Other partners’ groups and individuals at the event also pledged their various commitments to supporting the co-curricullar TVET project.

The Vice Chairman LMF Board of Trustees, Engr. Kashim Ali, described the project as turning point, and noble and promising beginning for the young beneficiaries saying it would mark a positive turn in their journey in life.

Ali, who was a former COREN President, said the LMF remained committed to contributing positively to national development through quality human capacity development in the strategic areas of focus.

According to him, LMF is focusing on functional, practical skills for survival, livelihood improvements, entrepreneurship and employment which remains the bedrock of every national productivity, economic growth and personal fulfilment.

”Today’s event which brings us together presents a humble initiative to encourage TVET culture and strengthen integration of TVET certification in the formal education.

”It is a commendable feat bringing together various categories of stakeholders, forges linkages of cooperation and presents a new platform for focused partnership collaboration, mentorship and coaching everyone can buy into”, he said.

Ali expressed hope that the LMF Young Entrepreneurs’ Club (YEClub) Project experience and lessons learnt shared both today and afterwards would provide beneficial insight to education policy makers, administrators and other stakeholders.

Mr Yusuf Alli, the Managing Editor, Northern Operations of The Nation Newspaper, a Facilitator of the programme, commended the founder for the initiative, adding that, it would divert the attention of youths from societal ills.

“I came here to give my own support as a facilitator but when I saw the initiative, I was encouraged.”

The creativity, innovation and skills’ mastery demonstrated by students were judged by VIPs at the event, and the best talents were rewarded with various prizes depending on their skills’ categories.

The winners of the Garment making craft Student-preneurs category: First position- Favour Ifeanyi Chisom SS2 (female); Second position- Israeli Oloyede SS3 (male); and Third position & most improved student~preneur, Abubakar Akilu Hassan SS1 (male) of GSS Pyakasa, all got a Sewing machine each.

The winners of the Catering craft prizes in the studentpreneurs category: First position- Peace Daniel JSS3; Second position- Precious Noah Yahaya SS3; and Third position- Rachael Tojuola SS2, all female students of GSS Pyakasa.

The first (Peace Daniel), second (Precious Yahaya) and third (Rachael Tojuola) positions, received Gas cooker; Kenwood cake mixer; and a complete set of cooking pots respectively.

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FRSC confirms death of 5 persons, 3 survivors in Kogi auto crash

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By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja.

Kogi State Sector Command of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has confirmed the death of five persons in a fatal auto crash on Kabba-Obajana road in Kabba-Bunu Local Government Area of the state.

The State Sector Commander, Samuel Oyedeji, who confirmed the accident and death of the five to newsmen on Thursday in Lokoja said three others survived the accident with serious injuries.

Oyedeji attributed the accident which involved a Ford Galaxy space wagon and a Mazda car, to speeding and wrongful overtaking.

“The head-on collision between the two cars moving in the opposite directions happened due to speeding and wrongful overtaking by one of the drivers.

“We have been preaching against drivers flouting road safety rules and regulations, yet these motorists hardly heed our warnings.

“Five persons lost their lives in the fatal accident that left three others seriously injured,” he said.

The Sector Commander said that officers from the command immediately carried out a rescue operation at the scene of the accident and rushed the three injured persons to General Hospital, Kabba for medical attention.

Oyedeji said the remains of the five dead persons were also deposited at the mortuary of the Kabba General Hospital.

The Kogi Sector Commander admonished motorists to always endeavour to always obey road safety rules and regulations to avoid fatal auto crashes on the highways. (Ends)

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Sen. Kawu Sumaila mourns victims of Wudil accident

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***Calls for urgent action to complete Kano-Maiduguri Road

The Senator representing Kano South Senatorial District Sulaiman Abdulrahman Kawu Sumaila has expressed sympathy with the families of 11 persons who lost their lives in an auto crash along Kano-Maiduguri federal Highway on Friday.
11 people lost their lives while 16 others were injured, with one person rescued unhurt in the auto crash at Gaya junction along the Kano – Maiduguri road.
The accident involved two vehicles – a Toyota Hummer bus with registration number KTG 190 XB and a Hijet mini pick-up with registration number KTG 501 YG.
In a statement he personally signed, Senator Sumaila expressed grief over the death of 11 persons, regretting that Kano-Maiduguri road has remained a death trap to many road users.
He said, the over 550 kilometre dualization project was awarded by the Federal Government at the end of the second tenure of the former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo is yet to be completed 17 years after.

Senator Sumaila explained that the importance of the road to the Nigerian economy cannot be over emphasized as it serves as an international link between Nigeria and the Chad republic, Cameroon, Niger republic and the Central Africa, which is supposed to serve as a boost for businesses among the affected countries.

According to him, also the road also connects Kano with Jigawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Yobe and Borno states, where it is playing a greater role in the economic activities of the states.

Senator Sumaila, however, lamented that despite its important, the road has claimed several lives due to non-completion of the project.

He said for almost 17 years since the award of the project, a portion of the road particularly from Wudil to Gaya has not been completed.

He said it is regrettable that although over 50 kilometers of this portion of the road have been completed, however, a distance of less than 30 kilometers of the portion has not been completed, thereby, causing accidents for its users.

Sumaila, regretted that the non-completion of the project has compelled traders from within Nigeria and the neighbouring countries to divert their businesses to other states other than Kano.

“Apart from cases of accident, armed robbery has been a constant occurrence on the road for several years. I have personally complained to the relevant authorities, yet, the problem persisted,” he said.

“It is very sad that the Federal ministry of works and housing and the contractor handling the project have failed to complete this project despite allocation of huge amount of money in the budget. I will continue to pursue for the completion of this road.”

Senator Sumaila lamented that “This is the reason why we are fighting for fairness in the budgetary allocations to the six geopolitical zones, but some people for their selfish interests are kicking against our moves.

“With enough budgetary allocations to the geopolitical zones, this kind of projects would have been finished in time. It is our duty as members of the National Assembly to channel the plights and yearnings of our constituents to the executive arm of government for the right thing to be done to improve their wellbeings.

“And one of the surest way to achieve this is to ensure fairness and equality in budgetary allocations. This is the only way projects that have direct bearing to the lives of the common man will be executed. Kano-Maiduguri, is one of the roads that is playing significant role in the wellbeing of many Nigerians, therefore, the federal government should not joke with it.

The senator, therefore, appealed to the Federal ministry of works and housing and the contractor handling the project to ensure completion of the road in order to save the lives of the people.

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Rising electricity tariffs killing small businesses, NASSI calls for urgent action

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The Nigerian Association of Small-Scale Industrialists (NASSI) has expressed deep concern over the recent increase in electricity tariffs that is threatening the survival of its members
A statement by issued on Friday by the National President of NASSI, Chief Dr. Solomon Vongfa Daniel indicated that the hike poses a significant threat to the survival and growth of small-scale industries across the nation.
“The recent increase in electricity tariffs is a major blow to small-scale businesses in Nigeria. Many of our members are already struggling with rising input costs and a challenging economic climate. This additional burden threatens to push many of them out of business altogether.”

According to him increased electricity costs will directly eat into already tight profit margins, jeopardizing the financial sustainability of small businesses.
In a bid to manage costs, some businesses may be forced to reduce production, leading to job losses and decreased output.
“The additional financial strain will hinder the ability of small businesses to invest in expansion or modernization, hindering overall economic growth.

NASSI urged the government to consider providing targeted subsidies or tax breaks to support small businesses during this difficult time.
“We encourage the government to invest in renewable energy sources and promote energy efficiency measures to create a more sustainable and affordable electricity supply.
The association calles for open dialogue with policymakers and stakeholders to explore solutions that address the concerns of small businesses and ensure a stable and affordable electricity supply for all Nigerians.

“NASSI remains committed to supporting its members and advocating for policies that promote a thriving environment for small-scale industries.
“We urge the government to take urgent action to address this critical issue and ensure the continued success of this vital sector of the Nigerian economy.”

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