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At-Risk Children Project: Gombe Gov Performs Ground Breaking Ceremony

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By Ismaila Uba Misilli

…Targets 100,000 Vulnarable Children, Youths in the State to Benefit from Project

…As G- STEP Scheme Kicks off in Gombe

Gombe State Governor, Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya has performed the groundbreaking ceremony of the At-Risk Children Project ( ARC-P) in the State.

ARC-P is an initiative designed to provide a multi-pronged approach for the rehabilitation and reintegration of vulnerable children to support them attain their full potentials.

Performing the exercise at the Banquet Hall of the Government House, Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya said the launching of At-Risk-Children Project (ARC-P) in the state will go a long way in giving the vulnerable children a sense of belonging.

The Governor said it was not a coincidence that the national launching of the At- Risk Children project took place in Gombe State, because according to him, with the signing of MoU with the ARC-P, his administration’s target was to further support at least 100,000 children and youth across the 11 LGAs to constructively live a life of dignity by providing them with necessary skills that would enable them harness their potentials and energies for the overall development of our state.

“Furthermore, out of our desire to tackle the problems of youth unemployment, we established a database for unemployed graduates in the state and so far we have registered over 17,000 job seekers and we are making concerted efforts to link them with necessary jobs that match their skills and training. The availability of this database put us ahead of other states in the selection of the pilot state for this project”.

“Through this partnership, we shall equally train and engage not less than 2,000 youth for the enforcement of environmental sanitation and protection as well as road traffic regulations in the first phase of the project”.

“In order to address these issues, the federal government through the office of the Special Adviser to the President on Social Investment came up with the At-Risk-Children Project (ARC-P) alongside other social intervention programmes so as to mop up these children and young adults from the streets and give them opportunities to realize their full potentials through a number of mechanisms being implemented at the state and local government areas level”.

Addressing this phenomenon, Governor Inuwa Yahaya maintained, will help to reduce poverty and insecurity while also providing solutions to the health, educational and social challenges facing these demographic group.

“On our part, our administration has keyed into all existing social intervention programmes and introduced new initiatives tailored towards finding and implementing local solutions to address the menace of out-of-school children, reduce poverty and provide job opportunities to our teeming youth. So far, we have mopped up over 300,000 out-of-school children and returned them back to classrooms.

Similarly, we have established 290 girl-child non-formal learning centres across all the LGAs and enrolled about 47,126 girl-child. Our girl-child skills acquisition programme has seen us training over 3,000 girls on beads making, bakery and cosmetology and provided them with starter packs to enable them engage in decent means of livelihood”.

He explained that his administration recently conducted an enumeration through the Better Education and Service Delivery for All (BESDA) project where it was estimated that there are over 700,000 out-of-school children spread across all the 11 Local Government Areas of the State, a statistics he noted was above the UNICEF’s estimated figure of about 550,000.

“The Almajiri system as practiced today is characterised by child neglect, abuse, social exclusion and chronic poverty thus churning out young people with little or no formal education and lacking employable skills thereby posing significant social and economic challenges to themselves, the government and the society at large”.

“To add to this, our girl-child population are mostly exposed to street hawking, child labour and often end up in commercial domestic services rather than pursuit of formal education in a bit to provide livelihood to their families. This exposes them to sexual exploitation and various degrees of gender-based violence”

Other categories of vulnerable children whose plight still remains of great concern to governments, the Governor said, include drug and substance users, child hawkers and labourers and a growing population of unemployed young adults, saying these young people often become easy targets for recruitment into armed groups including violent religious extremism and insurgency.

He said in order to domesticate the convention on the rights of the child, his administration has drafted the child rights bill which is presently before the state house of assembly and has passed second reading.

The Governor said when passed into Law, it will provide the necessary legal framework for social protection in general and protect the rights of children in the state.

He said in order to facilitate the smooth take-off of the project, his administration has provided a befitting office accommodation, deployed relevant competent staff and appointed a project advisory committee to oversee the implementation of the interventions in the state.

“Our administration shall continue to partner with all relevant national and international organizations, development partners, traditional institutions, the civil society and religious groups in order to bring an end to the menace of out-of-school children and youth joblessness in Gombe State”.

Governor Inuwa Yahaya use the event to express his appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari for introducing the ARC-P and the Special Adviser to the President on Social Investment Mrs Maryam Uwais for her doggedness and commitment in ensuring the project kicks off in the State.

He equally thanked Barrister Sani Ahmad Haruna, the Special Adviser on Human Capital Development for working tirelessly to put the necessary structures that will enable the State implement the project in the state.

The Special Adviser to the President on Social Investment and National Coordinator of At-Risk Children Project, Hajiya Maryam Uwais commended Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya for being the first in the country to attract the implementation of the Project in the State.

She described the support and the enthusiasm displayed by the government and people of the State towards successful implementation of the ARC Project as incredible and one action that will lead to the success of the project.

Earlier in an address of welcome, the chief of staff, Government House Gombe Abubakar Inuwa Kari said the scope of the At-Risk Children Project designed to protect the lives of children and the youth is one laudable initiative deserving of any responsible government.

He said the sincere and collective effort of all and sundry is needed to achieve the aims and objectives of the project which is aimed at giving disadvantaged children a new lease of life.

In a good will message Dr. Tusha Rani, the Chief of Bauchi Field Office of UNICEF said no child deserves to be exposed to unnecessary molestation and abuse and therefore praised the Gombe State Government for championing a bill for the protection of the rights of the child.

The event was also used for the official presentation of members of the Gombe Security, Traffic and Environmental Protection (G-STEP).

GSTEP is expected to engage 2000 youths across the State in the maintenance of security, traffic control and environmental protection.

Also speaking, the Project Coordinator and Special Adviser to the Governor on human capital development, Barr. Sani Ahmed said Gombe state was able to access a clean data of 500 from DFAM and 2000 data from MotherHen Development Foundation with a total number of 1,436 from oil millers, Baitul Arus, Gombe Youths and Women, Drug Abuse NGO; DAECO, Federal College of Education Technical, Electrical/ Tech, Federal College of Horticulture Dadinkowa, and Leather work beneficiaries were captured in the ARC- P database.

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Gov Fintiri Performs Groundbreaking Of 2 Flyovers In Bauchi

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Adamawa State Governor, the Rt. Hon. Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri on Sunday performant the ground breaking off the construction of two Flyover bridges in the heart of Bauchi by the State Government.


Performing the flag off on behalf of the Bauchi State Government, Governor Fintiri declared that Senator Bala Mohammad has developed a legacy of promises kept.


“With the projects I have seen in Bauchi State and the ones in the offing including the overhead bridges, we are about to flag off now, I am left with no other option than to congratulate the good people of Bauchi State for having a visionary and courageous leader like Senator Bala.

“The true definition of leadership often times, is not rooted in the quantum of resources at the disposal of a leader. It is more measured by the vision and courage such a leader brings to the fore in the decision of how such resource are deployed and the craft of what project are prioritized.” He said.


Governor Fintiri while commending Senator Bala for the design and prioritization of projects, noted that only few leaders have the courage to rise above lazy routes and brace up to gigantic projects.


He said that overerhead bridges referred to as Flyovers are not just symbols of municipal ecstasies but solutions to vehicular traffic which eases movement. “Having them in Bauchi is therefore a good decision that would continue to define the vision of Senator Bala Mohammed in solving the problem of not only the present-day Bauchi but the Bauchi of tomorrow.”


Speaking earlier, the Bauchi State Governor Bala Mohammad noted that population growth informed the idea behind constructing the flyover, adding that it will redefining urban transportation.


Governor Bala said as gateway to the North East it will give a first visitor to the region a good impression.


He noted that the choice of Governor Fintiri to break the ground is deliberate, describing him as one of the best that has changed the landscape of the region through the execution of viable projects.


The Governor of Borno. Prof Babgana Zulum and that of Gombe Mohammad Inuwa Yahaya were present at the event.

Humwashi Wonosikou
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor

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Adamawa Poly Matriculates 2,818 New Students For 2023/2024 Academic Session

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By Atanga Philip

A total of 2,818 student have been matriculated into various discipline of studies at the Adamawa State Polytechnic Yola for the 2023/2024 academic session.

Rector of the Polytechnic, Prof Mohammed Dahiru Toungos gave the revelation at the weekend in his welcome address at the school’s matriculation ceremony Polytechnic.

Breaking down the admission category, the Rector explained that Yola and Jambutu campus have two thousand four hundred and twelve, two hundred and fourteen at Numan campus while it’s National Skill Qualification, NSQF has one hundred and two.

Professor Toungos pointed out that though the institution recorded low enrollment it however poised to delivering quality service to the students.

He enjoined the matriculants to commit to their studies with tenacity and focus.

The Rector urged the learners to be regular and consistent in attendance at lecture and eschew all forms of deviant behaviours.

While assuring them of maximum security and safety, Dahiru Toungos congratulated and them successful and prosperous studies.

Earlier in a remark, the students representative of the Polytechnic, Mr. Kingsley Johanna appreciated the school’s management for the privilege to study.

He counselled the matriculating students to widen their horizon and positively impact the society during and after their stay at the Polytechnic.

Yohanna who expressed their readiness to be law abiding charged his colleagues to seek and embrace wisdom, honesty and integrity among other noble virtues.

It is now left for the students to delve into studies in earnest and all tenacity to justify the oath they took and get their parents to pride in them.

SAHEL REPORTERS

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Bauchi Lawmaker Pledges To Expedite Passage Of Bill On Reduction Of Out-Of-School Children

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Honourable Nasiru Ala, the Chairman, House Committee on Education in the Bauchi State House of Assembly has pledged to expedite the passage of the state framework Bill to reduce Out-Of-School in the state.

He made the pledge during a two-day regional stakeholders meeting on out-of-school children and retention, transition as well as completion models in Bauchi, Gombe and Adamawa states.

According to him, any moment the bill is sent to the state House of Assembly from the Executive, the lawmakers would expedite actions to ensure that the bill is passed within three to four weeks.

He said “based on the law making, we are going to enact this particular law on the domestication of the Bauchi state framework to reduce Out-of-School children bill within three to four weeks from the day of reception from the Executive Arm.

“Our governor has been very cooperative and supportive on this particular issue of out of school children because it is a serious menace.

“As an academic, I’m not always happy anytime I hear the word Out-of-School children.

“That is why it’s not going to be a big deal in the Bauchi state House of Assembly to enact the state framework to reduce Out-of-School children in the state.

“In three weeks time In-Sha-Allah, we are going to pass into Bill this State Framework to reduce Out-of-School children in the state”.

Also speaking, Mr Raphael Aiyedipe, Education Officer, UNICEF Bauchi Field Office, said that the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) had developed a National Framework of Action to Reduce Out-of-School Children and drive access to education in the country.

According to him, the framework commits to substantially and systematically decrease the number of Out-of-School children in Nigeria by 2030.

He highlighted some of the objectives of the framework to include; improve access and quality of education for all Nigerian children, drive improvement in learning and relevant skills development.

Others, he said, were to accelerate the social and economic development of communities and the country at large.

“The Framework has 5 thematic areas that includes; political actors and this means gaining the political will and government commitment.

“Best practices and alternative pathways and this translates to defeating learning poverty, Community accountability, that is engaging stakeholders to build ownership.

“Technology and ICT which means improving access through innovative solutions and Financing mechanisms, that is, reaching the most vulnerable,” he explained.

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