The North-East Development Commission (NEDC), on Tuesday graduated 176 youths trained on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Bauchi State.
The commission also gave the youths trained on computer graphics and cell phone repairs, some starter kits and the sum of N20,000 naira each to encourage them establish their businesses.
The Managing Director of the NEDC, Mr Mahammed Alkali, did the formal presentation of certificates and starter packs to them in Bauchi as well as official launching of NEDC ICT resources Training Centres across the six NorthEast states.
He said the commission recognised that technology was critical to developing a knowledge-driven and prosperous economy.
He said the overall objective of the NEDC ICT programme was to improve access to Information Technology resources, within the North East zone and to empower the population with necessary vocational education, skills and tools that could make them self-reliant.
“The commission recognised that technology is critical to developing an inclusive, knowledge-driven and prosperous economy. We are in an ICT era that all sectors of human endeavour heavily depend on to make any tangible impact.
“The overall objective of the NEDC ICT programme is to improve access to IT resources within the NE zone and empower the population with the necessary vocational education, skills and tools that can make them self-reliant.
“We admitted 1,200 youths in the first batch of this programme and I am happy to inform you that from this number, 176 trainees from Bauchi state are graduating today.
“This is the second highest number of candidates that successfully completed the training from the six centres in the North East,” Alkali said.
The managing director, who congratulated the graduants as the first set of NEDC ICT training beneficiaries, said that the commission would monitor their progress in order to reward those who fared well on their jobs.
“I am optimistic that you are now fully equipped with ICT skills of computer graphics and cell phone repairs. To mark the successful completion of the training, each of you will be kitted with a free starter pack and the sum of N20,000 to enable you hit the ground running.
“The commission will monitor your progress in the coming few months to reward those who may fare well on their jobs,” he said.
Also speaking, Gov. Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State, said that President Muhammadu Buhari had written his name in gold for establishing NEDC.
“We have seen the display of intervention, collaboration and synergy between the federal government and the state governments of the North East.
“We must say today that Mr President has written his name in gold by the establishment of the North East Development Commission,” he said.
Mohammed further announced that the state government, in order to strengthen capacity of the graduates would give them N50,000 each.
Speaking to newsmen at the sideline of the event, Albashir Dankyarana, one of the graduates said words alone could not express how happy he felt towards the gesture, expressing gratitude to God, NEDC and governor Mohammed.
He promised to make good use of the starter pack and the money given to him by both the NEDC and Bauchi State Government and would not hesitate to impart the knowledge on other unemployed youths.