Gombe Governor, Inuwa Yahaya flags off At Risk Children Project to support 100,000 youths to be self-reliant


Gombe Governor, Inuwa Yahaya

By Akanji Alowolodu, Gombe

Gombe State Government has declared that it will support about 100,000 children and youths across the 11 LGAs of the State in order to constructively live lives of dignity and self sustaining before the end of its tenure.
State Governor, Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya, stated this on Monday while flagging off the At Risk Children (ARC-P) in Gombe aimed at reducing the rate of unemployment among the young people in the state.
Inuwa Yahaya also said that the targeted children will be provided with necessary skills that would enable them harness their potentials and energies for the overall development of the state while fending for themselves and others around them. 
According to the Governor, the State Government has already keyed into the project including all existing social intervention programmes tailored towards finding and implementing local solutions to address the menace of out-of-school children, reduce poverty and provide job opportunities to the teeming youth.
He said that, “addressing this phenomenon will no doubt help to reduce poverty and insecurity while also addressing the health, educational and social challenges facing this very important demographic group”.
The Governor further said that, nearly 70% of these children at risk are found in Northern Nigeria where the menace of Almajiri system is widely practiced and has become endemic adding that “available data estimates that there are about 13.2 million out-of-school children in Nigeria, equivalent to about 7% of the country’s entire population with 70 % of these children found in northern Nigeria”.
Inuwa Yahaya said that, “In Gombe State, recent enumeration conducted by our administration through the Better Education and Service Delivery for All (BESDA) project estimated that there are over 700,000 out-of-school children spread across all the 11 Local Government Areas quiet above the UNICEF estimated figure of about 550,000”. 
Earlier, the Special Adviser to the President on Social Investment, Hajiya Maryam Uwais, commended the Gombe State Government for being the first to key into the programme stressing that it will go a long way in keeping the youths busy.
The Gombe State Coordinator of the programme, Sani Ahmed Haruna, said that the project has already commenced working with line Government MDAs such as Ministries of Education, Women Affairs and Social Development, Agriculture, Commerce and Industry, Science, Technology and Innovation, Youths as well as the State Sports Commission.
He assured that with the support and corporation of the State Government and particularly the Office of the First Lady and wife of the State Governor, Hajiya Asmau Inuwa Yahaya, the programme will be a huge success.

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