In his first address to Adamawa people, Governor Alhaji Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri promised to revive the Youth Skill Acquisition Centres. This is a very good step. Adamawa state needs a paradigm shift and new thinking in her human capital development programmes.
The Technical and Skills Acquisition Centers across the state should be resuscitated, redesigned and retooled to serve as a vehicle for jobs and wealth creation, including, as training places for agricultural entrepreneurship. This will go a long way in increasing human capital output that will speed up and sustain economic growth. A well funded, adequately tooled and efficiently manned skill acquisition centre will nurture the youths, encourage private sector and help the rural poor to be strong participants in the economic development of Adamawa state. In fact, it will free Adamawa state from the prison of always waiting for handout from the FG- free petrol-dollars.
Gov. Fintiri’s government has promised to make youth and women as the centre-piece of its attention. Therefore, as one of its most important strategies to tackle unemployment in the state, the government should use the centers as one of its focal point of agricultural entrepreneurship programme for youth and women- especially the rural poor. The Government should go into partnership with private sector to establish poultry, fisheries, dairy, snellnaries farms, plantations etc in various locations in the state.
Furthermore, the centers should be well funded to serve as ‘Ideas Development Hubs’- because; ‘Ideas Development is also an excellent way to create employment for bright youths i.e. the well known concept of: Innovate, create, invent and invest. Though experts say it is the most difficult but the most effective way to create long-term employment. #Adamawa state churns out thousands of graduates- engineers, computers programmers, architects, operations researchers, chemists, surveyors, agric-economists, designers etc yearly.
The Fintiri government should see the Skill Acquisition Centers as goldmines as well as a sociopolitical weapon. The centers should be re-energized to work in such a way that it can assist graduates with technical skills and entrepreneurship passion to have access to facilities and environment that support thinking for invention and innovation.
Poverty alleviation & wealth creation are weapons in human capital development. The Fintiri government should take advantage of supports from international NGOs and donor agencies. Furthermore, the government should collaborate as well as and take advantage of programmes and projects of some federal government agencies – The Raw Material Research and Development Agency, National Technology Incubation Centre, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria [SMEDAN], National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion, National Poverty Alleviation Programme, National Directorate of Employment (NDE) as well as Bank of Industries, The North East Development Commission including the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). These agencies will play a vital role for the centre’s youths and women programmes especially in areas affected by Boko Haram senseless war. Moreover, private investors can also be major participants, as they can play the role of fund providers for any invention or innovation that has market potentials. With this kind of scheme, it is possible to see new industries surface; the economy gradually grow and lots of good paying jobs created for Adamawa youths.
There are expectations on Gov.Fintiri to utilize the human capital potentials in the state to take the Adamawa people out of poverty. The resuscitation of the youth skill acquisition centers is a good step to meet peoples expectations.
Zayyad I. Muhammad writes from Jimeta, Adamawa state, [email protected]