The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has trained at least 150 victims of the Boko Haram insurgency in various entrepreneurship skills, competencies, and behaviours.
A statement from the communications specialist at the UNDP Lucky Musonda on Monday stated.the trainees – who comprise of youths, women, and men – acquired various skills that would help them start or run their small businesses successfully.
Mostly drawn from communities ravaged by the nine-year-long crisis, the beneficiaries either had their businesses destroyed by the insurgents or have found themselves residing in new locations with no means of sustaining themselves and their families.
Nigeria’s North-east has witnessed a widespread destruction of both infrastructure and livelihoods by the militant group, a crisis that has displaced thousands of people across the region.
“After this training, my life as a businesswoman will never be the same again, I will not run my business the way I did it before UNDP trained me on how to become a successful entrepreneur,” Nahyani stated.at the end of the six-day Entrepreneurship Training Workshop in Yola, Adamawa State.
Similar workshops were conducted in Maiduguri and Damaturu, Borno and Yobe state capitals respectively while there are plans to organize more in other parts of the country.
As stated by Musonda, the insurgency victims were trained by UNDP with support from the Government of Norway, in metal fabrication, tailoring, catering and decoration, mobile phone and computer repair, mechatronics and spray painting, among others.
He explained that the development was part of efforts aimed at providing catalytic ingredients for communities to thrive again and lay a foundation for long-term development to take place in a region.
The beneficiaries were also supported with start-up equipment so that they could secure alternative means of livelihoods beyond humanitarian handouts.
Speaking about the training, UNDP’s Country Director Samuel Bwalya said, “Entrepreneurship skills are needed to ensure that those with vocational skills only, who either own businesses or wish to start anew, are able to run their enterprises successfully.”
He explained that UNDP was investing in these initiatives with the hope that once the beneficiaries apply the knowledge they are acquiring from the training, they would be able to establish new businesses or expand existing ones and employ others within their communities.
Bwalya stressed further that this would consolidate the organisation’s ongoing efforts in meeting urgent early recovery needs in communities affected by the Boko Haram crisis.
The early recovery interventions in the region, he noted, aims to prepare communities for the day after the crisis, saying prolonged development deficit in the region exposed millions to different kinds of vulnerabilities.
In his address at the graduation ceremony in Yola, the Permanent Secretary of the Adamawa State Emergency Management Agency (ADSEMA), Haruna Furo, congratulated the graduates and urged them to apply their newly acquired knowledge in their daily business lives.
Haruna also commended UNDP for the initiative, stating that the intervention would go a long way in changing lives of people in the state.
– Channels TV