Gov Zulum flags off training programme for vulnerable children
Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno State on Monday flagged off the At Risks Children Programme (ARC-P), training of 968 youth facilitators to mentor vulnerable children to be reliant, as part o efforts to address the high number of out-of-school children in the North East.
The ARC-P is an ambitious and strategically designed initiative of the federal government under the office of the Vice President and led by the Special Adviser to the President on Social Investment, Hajiya Maryam Uwais.
The programme is a solution to the prolonged and well-documented vulnerabilities of children who lacked social protection and the luxury of basic formal education.
Flagging off the training at the Sir Kashim Ibrahim College of Education, Maiduguri, on Monday, Zulum said the that the programme and other federal government social investment programmes were in line with his administration’s 25 Year Development Plan.
Represented by the Commissioner for Women Affairs, Hajiya Zuwaira Gambo, he commended President Muhammadu Buhari for introducing various social investment programmes geared towards the betterment of the lives of citizens, especially the vulnerable youths, women and children affected by the over 12 years of Boko Haram insurgency.
The governor said the social investment programme was about investing in people, which was part of the 10-year agenda of the APC government in Borno, adding that the government has executed many projects geared toward strengthening the resilience of the people affected by insurgency.
Zulum assured of his administration’s continued partnership and collaboration between the state, the federal government and other donor agencies.
He called on the trainees to put in good use the knowledge acquired to change the future of the children in the state.
Earlier, Uwais said the federal government was concerned about the plight of the At Risks Children, especially the out-of-school children who are more than 20.5 million, hence the introduction of ARC-P to reduce the number of vulnerable women.
Represented by the Deputy Director, Budget and Planing, Mrs Grace Akpabio, she said the main objective of the programme was geared towards reducing risks associated with youths, children and other vulnerable women through education, health, empowerment of youths and children.
“This 3-week training in Borno is an opportunity to familiarise with the youths with ARC-p, provide basic tools on mentoring and guidance, recognise the different skills of the trainees and areas of comparative advantage, standard training syllables as well serve as feedback machanism,” she added.
On his part, Alhaji Lawan Wakilbe, the Commissioner for Education, said that out of 20.5 million out-of-school children in Nigeria, 1.8 are in Borno and the state has 56,000 orphans and 49,000.
Wakilbe attributed the high figure to Boko Haram insurgency, adding that the number of fatherless children is yet to be ascertained.