* Set to reduce incidence of high unemployment rate in the state.
No fewer than 750 kogi youths that have been trained by ActionAid Nigeria and PIBCID in various vocations have received a starter packs worth N41 million to enable them start their businesses.
The Country Director, ActionAid, Ene Obi, in a Welcome Address made the disclosure at the Handover Ceremony of Youth Income Generating Livelihood Equipment held in Lokoja.
The livelihood equipments is a funding from the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund, (GCERF).
According to the Country Director represented by the Impact Assessment and Shared Learning Manager, Samuel Ikani, the ActionAid SARVE 11 Project is in Partnership with Participation Initiative for Behavioural Change in Development (PIBCID).
The Country Director observed that while young women and men seek opportunities to invest their potentials, they are often negatively affected by poverty, marginalization, unemployment, and under-employment, often find themselves lacking the necessary literacy, capabilities, and skills to overcome these issues, making them vulnerable target of recruitment by violent extremist groups that exploit their frustrations and vulnerability.
She noted that Kogi State has a 38.97% unemployment rate and 28.81% underemployment rate according to the quarter 4 of 2020 report of Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS), lamented that youths of the state stand the risk of being vulnerable to possible recruitment by a violent extremist group.
She disclosed that ActionAid Nigeria and PIBCID with funding from the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund, (GCERF) took steps in reducing the vulnerability of these youth, through the provision of vocational skills training to boost the income generation of youths in the state by making them entrepreneurs as a panacea in the prevention of violent extremism in Kogi State.
She listed that ActionAid has through the SARVE II project reached 1,614 persons with useful life skills to keep them engaged and away from the influence of extremist groups.
Similarly, she pointed out that the capacity of 30 police officers has been built to respond to rising issues on violent extremism through the crucial Human Rights-Based Approach (HRBA) while working closely with community policing structures that already exist.
Equally, 6 Local Government Conflict Management Alliance (LOCMA) structures ActionAid noted were established in 6 LGAs in Kogi State to prevent conflicts from the communities and promote peace at large In Kogi State aimed at reducing the vulnerability of youths to violent extremism.
The Country Director Congratulated the communities and Government of Kogi State, for the Intervention that would help reduce violent extremisim, described the handover ceremony as a promised fulfilled.
Beneficiaries of those handedover the livelihood equipment were those trained in the areas of Hair Dressing, Barbing, ICT, Poultry, Carpentry, Bag and Shoe Making, Welding and fabrication, Catering, Tailoring,
In a remark , the kogi state governor Alhaji Yahaya Bello commended the ActionAid for their determination to drastically reduce unemployment rate in the state through their numerous life support programmes .
The Governor assured them of his unfailing support of their programmes that are aimed at empoweing the youths , urged the beneficiaries to seize the opportunity by being committed to their trades and to shun all predatory activities.