The UN will sponsor 4,000 Nigerian youth who are victims of Boko Haram activities from Adamawa, Borno and Yobe to acquire various vocational skills in 2016.
The Country Director, UN Development Programme, Pa-Lamin Beyai, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that the measure was to enable them build their capacity.
Mr. Beyai explained that many of the victims had their businesses destroyed by the insurgency and had become idle.
According to him, remaining idle for a long time without any positive engagement could make them become prone to Boko Haram recruitment.
He said the UNDP’s vocational training for victims of violent conflicts in Benue, Plateau and Gombe states had succeeded in impacting positively on the lives of the 150 trainees.
“So, since we succeeded in three states – Benue, Gombe and Plateau – why not move forward to the three insurgency affected states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe.
“We were able to select 4,000 youths who would be trained in different skills of their choice so that they could have alternative livelihood.
“We are not accusing them of being insurgents but the potential for them to be used as insurgents if they don’t have anything to do will be very high.
“So we feel we could train them to help them beyond their own livelihood so that they will not be distracted into getting into insurgency,” he said.
The UN official commended the government of Norway for providing the funds for the vocational skills training.
Mr. Beyai said the fund actually came as support funding for conflict from the Norwegian government to support interventions in Jos and Benue for victims of conflicts before the North East.
NAN recalls that the UNDP had in 2015 in Jos, launched the first batch of the 500 beneficiaries of its Livelihood Support Scheme for the Boko Haram victims from the three states.
The UNDP said it was partnering Peugeot Automobile Nigeria Limited, Kaduna and other training centres to train the beneficiaries in 14 trades, five from Peugeot company and nine from the other training centres.
According to the organisation, all the beneficiaries will be accommodated and also paid allowances for the entire period.
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