Nigeria has high number of unemployed youths and many of the jobless ones indulge into social vices like drug abuse, thuggery, stealing, rape and other crimes. In fact, most of the major crimes too including insurgency, banditry, kidnapping and armed robbery are perpetrated by the youth.
Many commentators on current affairs ascribe such crimes being committed in the nation to poverty and joblessness. Thus, there is need for government at all levels to devise ways of addressing redundancy among the youths by empowering them economically so they will be responsible and responsive citizens.
Nigerian youths are productive, intelligent and can contribute immensely towards the development of their states and country if empowered. Perhaps, that was why the governor of Gombe state Inuwa Yahaya came up with various schemes to provide jobs to the state citizens.
Some of those schemes include the appointment of 3, 078 development facilitators across the 11 local government areas of the state, engagement of 400 youths for wheat production as well as engagement of over 27, 000 youths to plant trees in parts of the state.
The governor last week approved the appointment of the development facilitators who were selected from all wards of the state.
Secretary to the State Government, Professor Ibrahim Abubakar Njodi who conveyed the approval of the governor said the new appointees will serve as community representatives across all the 114 wards of the state to facilitate community engagement in the areas of sensitization and enlightenment on government policies and programmes as well as inter- governmental relations between the state and local governments.
According to the SSG, there will be 20 development facilitators I and 250 development facilitators II for each local government that has 10 wards while for those with 11 wards, they will have 22 development facilitators I and 275 facilitators II each.
He said the appointments will take effect from 1st January, 2022. The engagement of the development facilitators was aimed at mitigating unemployment among the teeming youths in the state especially as numerous citizens graduate from various institutions every year with some sitting at home without any serious occupations.
But with this development, a large number of energetic and skillful youths will have jobs and be bridge builders between the government and the community members. They will play the role of educating the citizens on government policies, mediating between the government and communities as well as informing the government on citizens yearnings and aspirations.
People of the state while commenting on the appointment tasked the governor to select the appointees on merits.
Bello Malam Kumo said “Please share the appointments based on criteria and whoever scales through, let him benefit from the program, we are all indigents of Gombe. Therefore, its resources are for us collectively”.
Another citizen Usman Ahmed Rufa’i who described the appointment of the development facilitators as a welcome initiative advised the governor to also engage another set of youths in community policing.
“Very good initiative. Please engage them on community policing initiative also”. He said.
“This is very good to our youths in Gombe, keep doing good Governor Yahaya”. Haruna Saleh urged the governor.
A youth Adamu Yahya charged the appointees to work hard in order to justify the confidence reposed in the youths by the governor.
Muhammad Siraja said although he belongs to opposition but he believes the gesture could help in reducing number of unemployed youths in the state.
“If one wants to criticize government, he is free to do so but note that opposition is meant to correct the lapses and shortcomings of the party in power or to draw its attention to do what is needed by the people.
“ This appointment is a welcome development as it will provide jobs to our youths. It will address unemployment. So I am in support of it”. He posited.
The government explained that one of the cardinal objectives of the Inuwa Yahaya administration is job and wealth creation particularly to the youth.
Recall that the governor had recently engaged 400 youths from different local governments to participate in wheat production lunched by the federal government in the state.
Among the states selected for lunching of the wheat production in Nigeria is Gombe where the federal government through the
National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) provided the farming inputs to the farmers.
However, the government of Gombe state has provided 200 hectares of land for the wheat production and also engaged 400 youths to participate in the scheme.
According to him, agriculture should be made attractive to youths in the country and that was why he was encouraging them to see agriculture as a way of life and means of livelihood so as to attain economic prosperity.
He said his administration would continue to work with the federal government and relevant bodies to boost food production and create job opportunities.
Another programme initiated by the governor to provide jobs to the youths of the state is the lunching of Gombe Goes Green (3G) initiative in September 2019 with a target to plant at least one million trees each year for four years and beyond.
Many youths have been engaged under the scheme to conduct the tree planting. This is in addition to the establishment of Citizenship and Leadership Training Centre headed by retired AIG Zubairu Muazu.
Yahaya said during presentation of vehicles to the 3G office recently that the state government in conjunction with NEWMAP, was able to set up a 20 hectare wood lot in 10 out of the 11 local government areas of the state with some of it containing economic trees to provide means of livelihood for the people especially the youths.
“You will recall that we engaged 27, 000 of our youths in conjunction with YESSO so that they can plant economic trees within these four million trees that we embarked upon planting and it has been yielding results.
“So we thank God that our youths are fully aware, the community is aware and the entire state is fully aware of the efforts we are making and it is in order to enforce that position that we now engage in providing these watering tricycles so that we can enter all the nooks and crannies especially of Gombe metropolis”. He said.
As for the Citizenship and Leadership Training Centre, the governor said his administration is working hard for the full take off of the institute for the training of the youths, especially in traffic, environmental and security enforcement.