The Katsina State Governor, Aminu Bello Masari said that public funds were not used to finance his Non Governmental Organisation (NGO), Aminu Bello Masari Youth Empowerment Foundation.
Explaining that the aim of establishing the NGO was to intervene directly in the lives of the youths and the less privileged, particularly those who are physically challenged within and outside the state without prejudice to partisanship as he commenced the journey of leaving public office in 2023.
He said the foundation which has zero tolerance of giving out money, would use the existing entrepreneurs to train the new ones as apprentices and assist those with small businesses, to develop into a much bigger business so that they can have more hands to work with for ultimate productivity.
Explaining to some journalists on the activities of the foundation recently, the governor said, „Not a single kobo belonging to the government will be used to finance the foundation. That is why even the launching of the foundation‘s office took place outside government properties. But you know, a typical Nigerian opposition, if you give him swan water, he will say it is acid water because it is clean. Records are there, no government agency or ministry is involved in this.”
He maintained that the foundation is non-partisan and would be fully functional when he leaves office. „We will put the arrangements in place that the foundation will be sustainable even after my life.
“Our intention is not to give money to people, but to train them and put them to work. It is high time to start forcing our youths to be more productive, to depend upon themselves, not depending on government‘s patronage or employment.”
Governor Masari further said modalities are on ground to revitalise the foundation without the government‘s direct involvement, optimistic that it would contribute significantly to promote the role of youths in shaping the future of the state.
He added that the foundation is part of the contributions he is rendering to the people to redirect youths from dependency and be productive and to hope for a better future.
“We have done a lot in the area of scholarship and medical outreaches to indigent students and at times, we have gone as far as Bauchi, Maiduguri, and many southern states where Katsina students are.
“We have been doing this very quietly but for my much involvement in politics immediately after leaving office as a speaker and up to the time I was elected as the governor of Katsina State, I slowed down the activities of the foundation because some have already started interpreting it as another political organisation or another approach to win the hearts and minds of people.
“So, my intention was and still is to intervene directly in the lives of people not only in Katsina State but without prejudice or any partisan belongings, especially in the areas that affect youth development. I intend to give more time, more attention to the foundation when I finally leave office,” he said.
He also explained that the reason behind partnering with Mary Bamigbe Bruder, a Nigerian born German and the president of Bruder-Hlife Social Development Initiative was to assist the less privileged across the states and Nigeria.
Recall that the governor‘s foundation in collaboration with Bruder-Hlife, had recently donated 200 mobility carts (mechanised wheelchairs) to physically challenged persons in the state.
While speaking to journalists after the commission, Mrs Bruder said she visited four families with 24 children in the rural areas, where she is planning to offer less than 20 children scholarships to study.
She affirmed that the organisation is ready to partner with other organisations in Nigeria to express the concern to less privileged people.
„What we want to see, is the passion and readiness of a state, or the governor, or any spirited person in Nigeria that wants to help, we want to see your passion, we want to see that you have your people at heart. So, when we see the passion in the person, then we will be ready to come in and assist. So, in this state, we are going to do more in the state,“ she said.