Governor Nasir El-Rufai believes that only a vibrant, skilled and knowledgeable population can move Kaduna state and indeed Nigeria forward and this explains why his administration has been focusing on human capital development.
Kaduna State Government has been pursuing policies and programs that will make residents physically and mentally healthier, providing free and compulsory basic education, including skills through technical and vocational education, especially for the youth.
The Deputy Governor, Dr Hadiza Balarabe, who made these remarks at the end of a training of Youth Facilitators for the At Risk Children Programme(ARC-P), noted that ‘’only a healthy people that can provide mental and physical labour.’’
She further pointed out that ‘’it is only skilled labour that can design and bring about technological advancement; and it is only in an atmosphere of good education and financial literacy that strong entrepreneurship can be birthed and nurtured.’’
The Deputy Governor who was represented by Deputy Chief of Staff, Mr James Kanyip, said ‘’this is our dream for Kaduna state and its people. It is our dream for all the vulnerable children in Kaduna state.’’
‘’If At-Risk Children are not catered for, this dream will not be realized. Already, many youths still roam the streets with only the desire to engage in drugs and other acts of criminality,’’ she warned.
Dr Balarabe disclosed that the At-Risk Children Programme will expand its net ‘’to include young adults between the ages of 18-24 years. This will go a long way in ‘catching’ many out-of-school youths and engaging them productively. ‘’
While commending the programme, she hopes that the ‘’ Advisory Committee, the ARC-P National Team, Development Partners, and the Kaduna State ARC-P Implementation Team, will create a huge dent in the volume of vulnerable persons and draw up sustainability plans that will make the programme functional even after its official duration.’’
The Deputy Governor promised that government ‘’ shall continue to partner with organizations and groups that are prepared to contribute to the development of our people and the state.’’
‘’We shall therefore continue to provide to such groups our maximum support and programmes; and the ARC-P shall continue to occupy our front burner,’’ Dr Balarabe further stated.
She expressed appreciation to the Programme Advisory Committee, the ARC-P National Team, Development Partners, the Kaduna State ARC-P Implementation Team, the Commissioner and staff of Ministry of Human Services and Social Development, and others who have made the training possible.
The ARC-P is an initiative of the federal government, in conjunction with Kaduna State Government, which is geared towards improving the living conditions of street hawkers, orphans, people living with disability, survivors of child marriage, drug or substance abuse and internally displaced persons, amongst others.
The programme rests on seven pillars which include Basic Literacy and Numeracy; Health and Nutrition; Mental Health (including substance abuse); Entrepreneurial, Vocational & Financial Skills; Digital Skills; Agriculture and Climate Issues; Security, Sports, and Life-skills (towards curbing violence and substance abuse).