The Federal Government has said it would employ 38,700 educated but unemployed youths as part of a strong army of mentors for out-of-school children and other vulnerable people.
The government said the 38,700 youths would be drawn from the 774 local governments areas in the country.
The Special Adviser to the President on Social Investment, Hajiya Maryam Uwais, made this known during a joint press conference with the Northern Governors’ Wives Forum in Abuja weekend.
Uwais had earlier briefed the governors’ wives on what the federal government was doing to empower youths and protect those she described as “at risk population”.
She explained that the engagement of the youths for the mentorship job was part of a strategic work plan by the Office of the Vice President designed to address the needs of vulnerable children and youths.
The presidential adviser said, “We are collaborating with the governor’s wives and other stakeholders to select 50 young educated but unemployed youths in every local government to empower them to mentor the young children and guide those that are out of school to live meaningfully.
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“Fifty youths will be selected in each of the 774 local government. They will be paid N30,000 which is the minimum wage. This will create capacity and jobs for them.”
In her remarks, the Chairperson of the Northern Governors’ Wives Forum, Mrs Hadiza El-Rufai, who rolled out the forum’s agenda for the 2021 and 2022, identified gender-based violence and drug abuse as major menaces the 19 First Ladies in the region would focus on combating.
“There are so many problems in the country today that one cannot bring everything on board at the same time. But as a forum, we have decided to tackle two key issues that are bedeviling our society.
“The first is the gender-based violence and the second is drug abuse. These are our two main focus at the Northern Governors’ Wives Forum,” she said.
On the forum’s plan for education vis-a-vis the recruitment of the 38,700 youths, she said: “We know that education is every is very important. That’s why we invited Mrs Maryam Uwais to come and discuss with us on how the Northern Governors’ Wives Forum can help. In the North, we have too many children that are out of school.
“You know when people are not engaged meaningfully, especially young people who have a lot of energy, they are easy targets for recruitment into all kinds of nefarious activities. So, we want to make sure that is minimised. This also comes with the issue of drug abuse.”
Also speaking, the vice chairperson of the forum and first lady of Kwara State, Ambassador Folake AbdulRazaq, said they were collaborating with government institutions and functionaries to ensure the sustainability of their programmes even beyond 2023.