The A3 Foundation with support from the Rockefeller Foundation has flagged off a free IT Essentials training for 200 high potential but disadvantaged youths in Minna and Bida of Niger State.
The youths were selected through a transparent online registration portal which filtered qualified candidates who were later screened in person by A3 Foundation staff.
During the flagoff of the Minna scheme held in Federal University of Technology Minna, the wife of the Niger State Governor, Dr Amina Abubakar Bello, thanked the Foundation for the scheme which she said would complement the state government's effort in providing employment for youths in the state.
"My presence here demonstrates my renewed commitment to take all issues of youths and women groups very seriously, so that we will be better prepared towards redirecting the energy and vitality of our youths to more productive ventures of self reliance and productivity” Dr Amina Bello said.
The First Lady of the State enjoined the trainees to take the training seriously as the main aim of the training is job creation which in turn would ensure the socio economic growth of the state.
Speaking at the event, the Founder/CEO of the A3 Foundation, Amb. Dr. Aisha Audu-Emeje, described the scheme as a non-political programme aimed at creating jobs for youths in the state and bridging the unemployment gap in the society.
Amb. Audu-Emeje thanked the Niger state First Lady for her continued support of the scheme and expressed optimism that the programme would be a success.
Similarly, the Chairman of the A3 Foundation, Alhaji Adamu Aliyu, who described the scheme as a timely intervention, said it was in line with government policies put in place to check the rising rate of unemployment and develop an ICT driven economy.
"There is a need to train the right set of people with the right set of skills to save us from our maintenance culture in Nigeria and shape the right future for our youths," Alhaji Aliyu noted.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Vice-Chancellor of the institution, Professor Musbau Adewumi Akanji, FNSBMB, represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration) Prof. Suleiman Sadiku welcomed the wife of the Executive Governor , Niger State to the University and commended the founder for choosing to host the event in FUT, Minna.
According to him, the University is in the fore front in the field of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and also the first University to introduce a programme on cyber security.
Also, in her remarks, the Project Manager, Hadiza Emeje, described the training as an empowerment programme designed to keep youths off the streets and encourage them to become more productive in the society.
"We at A3 Foundation have the strong belief that at the end of this Cisco Certified IT Essentials training, each and every trainee would have acquired the right skill set to contend with any work environment they find themselves in," She disclosed.
During the Flag off programme in Bida, the Emir thanked the Foundation for the opportunity given to the youths of the state and assured the foundation that he would support the scheme in any way he can to ensure that the programme is successful.