By Festus Fifen
In order to tackle and reduce unemployment in the Federal Capital Territory, the FCT Administration has graduated 227 youths trained on different vocational skills to harness their potentials.
Presenting certificates to the graduating youths, the FCT Minister, Bala Mohammed said that this is one of the cardinal programmes evolved to harness the gains of the Petroleum Subsidy.
The Minister who was represented by the FCT Permanent Secretary, Engr. John Obinna Chukwu, remarked that it’s also a major milestone in the pursuit of the Transformation Agenda of the President Goodluck Jonathan’s Administration.
Bala Mohammed reiterated that one of the major challenges Nigeria faces today is unemployment resulting from the lack of requisite skills for the job market.
He emphasized that the SURE-P Capacity Building Programme has created opportunities to stimulate and engage FCT Youths, obtain knowledge and skills they need to positively improve their lives and the fortunes of their communities.
The Minister said that the 227 youths who were selected from the six Area Councils of the FCT benefitted from courses in eight different fields of entertainment which include acting, dance, fashion/costume design, make-up, modeling, music, photography and script writing.
The Minister revealed that the FCT SURE-P paid for the tuition, hostel accommodation and feeding of the students; apart from providing monthly stipends for participants who preferred to commute to the center from their homes.
His words: “The participants are today better positioned to contribute meaningfully to the development of the nation. I therefore like to exhort the graduands to justify the investment of the government in their lives by imbibing the virtues of hard work, diligence and creativity.”
Speaking earlier, the Coordinator, FCT SURE-P who is also the Director of Economic Planning, Research & Statistics, Mr. Mohammed Ari while welcoming guests to the occasion noted that the recent rebasing of the Nigerian economy indicates that the Nigeria Movie Industry including Arts, entertainment and Recreation contributed about 33 Percent to the overall GDP.
Mr. Ari stated that the industry, which currently ranks 2nd behind India and ahead of Hollywood has hugely been achieved with no government contribution and thereby placing Nigeria as the 26th largest economy in the World.
According to him, “the implication of this information is that there are a lot of untapped opportunities which have begun to attract a large number of our youths”.