- Gombe State Governor Muhammadu Inuwa, on Tuesday, 7th February 2023, flagged off the 2nd phase of the Empowerment Programme with 2000 beneficiaries from over 60 000 Empowerment Items in continuation of his administration’s human Capital Development.
The beneficiaries include Youths, Women, PWDs, and Artisans, among others; as the Governor declared, “We will continue to take holistic steps to improve the lives of our people.”
The Governor flagged off yet another phase of the empowerment programme as part of his administration’s broader goal of addressing the human capital deficit in Gombe State.
Speaking during the inauguration, the Governor said that his administration attaches much priority to human capital development owing to the central role it plays in the overall development of society, maintaining that his government is determined to continue taking holistic developmental steps to improve the lives of the people by creating employment and income generating opportunities.
He also said that the second phase of the empowerment programme will cover over 2000 beneficiaries selected across five categories of small business, trade and artisan, and associations.
“Today, we are supporting a total of 2000 traders, mostly women”, he remarked.
About the composition of the beneficiaries, the Governor said that the 2000 beneficiaries of the project would include: 200 tea and Indomie noodles sellers, 200 rice cake sellers, 200 Bean cake sellers, 200 Soya Beans cake sellers, and 200 people with special needs while 500 members of Sickle Cell Group as well as members of the Nigerian Automatic Technician Association, NATA and Gombe Automobile and Allied Technicians Association of Nigeria GATAN.
He further said that through these direct multicultural interventions, his administration has touched the lives of over 10,000 citizens across the state, projecting that more than a hundred thousand citizens will indirectly benefit from the programme.
“Through the collective multiplier effects of these interventions, more than 100,000 citizens will indirectly benefit from these programmes”. He said.
He also used the occasion to unveil the plan to empower additional 25 associations saying, “In the same way, subsequent battles will follow where about 25 trades and artisan associations and clubs will be empowered.”
Inuwa Yahaya urged the beneficiaries to make good use of the items and consider the gesture as an opportunity to achieve financial independence and help their families, contemporaries, and the larger society, calling on people to vote for the APC in the forthcoming elections for sustainable development and long-term prosperity.
He explained that since the inception of his administration in 2019, he deemed it pertinent to establish Human Capital Development Office to coordinate and facilitate activities relating to the advancement and management of the state’s human resources base in tandem with the national human capital development agenda.
According to him, “The aim of the programme is to foster skill development and growth to harness the creative potential of our young people. Our people are our greatest assets, far greater than any mineral resources. The greatest investment any society can make is upgrading the quality of its human capital.”
“Our mission is to equip our youths with skills and expertise to meet the demands of a 21st-century knowledge-based economy”, he added.
To buttress his disposition, Inuwa Yahaya recounted some of the efforts made by his administration in the past three and a half years towards ensuring substantial investment in the thematic areas of health, nutrition, education, etc to boost human capital development and ensure sustainable growth.
“We adopted a holistic approach to improving the health system by establishing or renovating one primary healthcare center in each of the 114 wards of the state. In addition, we upgraded the state specialist hospital, Gombe, and renovated the general hospitals in Kaltungo and Bajoga, while we are building a brand new 200-bed-capacity General Hospital in Kumo”, he noted.
To revive the integrity of education, the Governor explained that his administration declared a state of emergency in the sector, consistently increasing the capital allocation to the sector.
He explained that “We consistently increased the capital allocation by 60% in 2020, 2021, and 2022. This translated into the renovation of 153 schools, the construction, and the renovation of over 1200 classrooms across the state. Thanks to these measures, we can significantly improve the performance of our public schools’ candidates in the national examination, such as the West African Senior School Certificate, from 31% in 2019 to 73% in 2021.”
Other important human capital development undertaken by the government included: At-Risk Children project, which engages over 500 youth facilitators who are receiving 30,000 naira monthly, under whom 18,000 beneficiaries are currently being served across the eleven LGAs of the state, recruitment of 500 officers for Gombe State Security, Traffic and Environmental Corps, Distribution of 1000 Tricycles circles to support self-reliance and improve access to public transportation, the establishment of the Citizenship and Leadership Training Center at Boltongo to promote character development, citizenship, and leadership skills among others.
The Governor stressed that “Part of our efforts is the establishment of the Industrial Park at Dadin Kowa, which occupies 1000 hectares of land and is created to house many major factories as well as numerous small and medium-sized businesses. Approximately 15,000 direct jobs and over 100,000 indirect jobs are expected to be created by this project alone.”
In fulfillment of his campaign promise to develop women’s productivity through training and support, he reiterated his commitment to empowering women, especially those running small-scale businesses, to help them realize their full potential to stimulate overall economic growth in fulfillment of his 2019 campaign promises.
Earlier in her remarks, the First Lady, Dr. Asma’u Inuwa Yahaya thanked the Governor for churning out pro-women policies and programmes geared towards addressing the plight of especially vulnerable groups through meaningful intervention to make them self-reliant.
“Thank you, your excellency, for accepting to share the beneficiaries of today’s programme 50/50 between men and women as it has never happened in any of the previous administrations in the state”, she noted.
She urged the beneficiaries to use the items for the intended purpose, “please, I beg you, do not sell out any of the items that will be given to you. They are meant to support you and make you self-reliant to support yourselves and your families”.
In his welcome address, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Human Capital Development, Barrister Sani Ahmad Haruna, commended Governor Inuwa for providing formidable platforms for the training of youths, women, and other vulnerable groups, explaining that the second phase of the empowerment programme is a consolidation on the ongoing human capital development initiatives, adding that all the programmes will be run concurrently.
Barrister Sani said the over 60, 000 items distributed include: Sugar packs, Indomie packs, crates of eggs, takeaway packs, gas cylinders, rice, frying pans, beans, soya beans, flour, cooking oil, mechanical sets, Drugs for Sickle Cell Anemia Patients, among others.
Responding at the instance of the beneficiaries, Dr Ishiyaku Adamu, the Chairman of the National Association of Blinds, Gombe State Chapter; Ibrahim Musa, Chairman of Sickle Cell Club; Abbas Adamu Abdu Gadam, Secretary of Tea and Indomie Sellers Association among other representatives, commended Governor Inuwa’s visions in empowering the less privileged and the vulnerable groups of the society, describing the governor as humanitarian par excellence, assuring to support his reelection bid for sustainable development of Gombe State.