By Amuda Dan Sulaiman Fab
As part of measures to implement a strategy towards the realization of Mr. President’s promise to take 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years, the FCT Administration through its Social Development Secretariat has concluded plans to graduate over 120 trained ‘Almajiris’ in various vocational skills.
Recall that these street beggars were hitherto picked from major streets of Abuja and rehabilitated at the Bwari Vocational Training Centre.
FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, who carried out a routine assessment of the Secretariat expressed satisfaction over what she described as ’huge transformation’ of the vulnerable in the society.
The minister who commended the initiative of the management staff of the Secretariat for keying into the presidential deliverables, however, tasked them to scale-up the number of youths in the training programme with a view to meeting the target of Mr. President.
“From inception about three years ago, we embarked on an impromptu visits to all our Secretariats, Departments and facilities to see how they were being managed, particularly the Social Development Secretariat where we have the human component that handles the people.
“Just like the ministerial deliverable by President Muhammadu Buhari, and the mandate of uplifting poor Nigerians out of poverty, the Social Development Secretariat is saddled with the responsibility of transforming the Almajiris and giving them basic skills.
“The Secretariat has given the beggars, destitute, and vulnerable a new lease of life, as you can see the Almajiris, rising from grass to grace. Some will be graduating as painters, bricklayers, carpenters, shoemakers and so on and so forth.
“So to FCT Administration, it is in line with Mr. President’s mandate to ensure that life is given back to the common man. The common man is empowered and upgraded and given good quality of living. Like never before, many have been transformed. Many have been trained and many today have a means of livelihood,” she noted.
Aliyu, however, stressed that as soon as the graduation of this phase, a new set of 20 persons in each of the vocational skills would be recruited, adding that the Secretariat was targeting 200 youths in the next phase of engagement.
Meanwhile, Head of Ceramics, FCT Social Development Secretariat, Mr. Mordi Stephen, revealed that since 2015, he graduates over 120 youths yearly in ceramics production, adding that he is currently training 5 students from different higher institutions posted to the Secretariat for Industrial Training.