interviewBy Ben Atonko
Umar Abubakar Sade (PDP, Bauchi) is representing Darazo/Ganjuwa Federal Constituency of Bauchi State in the Federal House of Representatives. In this interview, Sade spoke on the urgent need to address unemployment among youths. Excerpts:
What can you really say you have given back to your constituents who elected you to represent them?
First of all, what I did was partly fulfilling my campaign promises to my good people of Darazo/Ganjuwa federal constituency as a way of performing my constituency duties. I started with the youth by instituting a scholarship scheme for them through a committee I set up.
The committee doled out a total sum of N2 million to the less privileged students who thought their educational career was threatened. A careful study was done and a total of 50 student beneficiaries were discovered.
This was done as a way of preventing them from roaming about aimlessly on the streets. It is our belief that this will curtail vulnerability to crime. Most of the beneficiaries have already lost hope of continuing their education due to one reason or the other. Education is the foundation of everything in life. Through this, I believe they may realize their dreams and aspirations and contribute their quota to the society.
But you ought to have considered skills acquisition programme, especially now that the rate of unemployment is increasing?
I did that too in collaboration with NDE [National Directorate of Employment] Bauchi office alongside the scholarship grant. You know one has to have formal education in order to improve in his communication and know what he is doing in the first place.
I sponsored 15 persons from Darazo and Ganjuwa local government areas each in skills acquisition training in the fields of welding, tailoring, carpentry and blacksmithing within the period of six months training course.
All these efforts are meant to reduce crime in the society, as well as prevent the youth from engaging in thuggery and cultism which is increasing by the day. They started the training with allowance given to each of them to enable them feed and transport themselves. The training will prevent them from being idle in the society and also enable them to be self-employed. I hope to extend the gesture to others as time goes on.
Why did you choose the youth?
The youth as you know are the backbone of any society. They are leaders of tomorrow and if you don't consider them first, you create problem for yourself and the community will be in trouble. That is why I have to start with them. Moreover, if the youth are idle, they pose a threat to the society. It is said, "an idle mind is the devil's workshop." But once you engage them, you prevent them from roaming up and down and there will be peace in the society.
After some of these trainings, the youths hardly practise the skills acquired...
I strongly believe that the beneficiaries will hook up to this big opportunity given to them and will realize their dreams so that the society will move forward. With this basic training, one can pick up and start a meaningful life in order to lead a better future. After the training, a trade test certificate will be issued to them on graduation as a sign of completing the programme. This will prove their worthiness as potential professionals in their respective fields.
I have already packaged their graduation grants. As soon as they round off their programme, it will be given to them to enable them to move into life and explore the market within Darazo/Ganjuwa constituency and beyond. We are truly lacking professionals in welding, carpentry etc.