Kaduna State: Group empowers youths with skills
Asma'u Halilu, Kaduna
An empowerment group, Old Panteka Development Association has trained no fewer than 600,000 youth in Kaduna state on various trades.
Panteka market, which is located at Kaduna south is known for manufacturing equipment made of iron and other items gotten from scavengers.
The Chairman of the Association, Alhaji Suleiman Shehu, made the disclosure during an advocacy on voter education convened by Kaduna Progressive Group, in Kaduna.
Shehu said the youth were trained on carpentry, welding, painting, roofing, plumbing, electrical work and other trades.
According to him, Panteka market is an industry in itself with 38 sections, each engaged in different trades.
“We produce so many things that people buy from abroad, we train and retrain the youths. Our market has been supporting government programmes and we have members across Kaduna state running businesses and earning a living.
“In Panteka we have graduates from all over the state and those still going to school. We have collaborated with Kaduna Polytechnic on skills acquisition.
“Currently, government is in the process of intervening through SMEDAN to give us some machines that will assist us,” he mentioned.
Shehu revealed that the Chairman of Kaduna South Local government area, Alhaji Kabiru Jarimi, had allocated a piece of land to the association to enhance its empowerment activities.
“Prof Idris Bugaje, the then Rector of Kaduna Polytechnic selected 20 people from Panteka market for quality assurance training which was concluded and they have started monitoring our products.
“Today from Panteka, youths can be certified on various trades because of our collaboration with Kaduna polytechnic.
“Our hope is that in future, we will build hostels to accommodate trainees and students on internship attending our skills acquisition programmes,” Shehu pointed.
On voters registration, the Chairman said the association has been mobilising its members to obtain the permanent voters card.
He urged the Independent National Electoral Commission of Nigeria (INEC) to set up voters registration unit to register eligible voters working in the market.
The Chairman, Kaduna progressive group, Dr Bashir Ibrahim said the market, which has more than 4,000 shops and 50,000 registered members, contributes greatly to the economic development of Kaduna state.
“Our coming today is to seek for your support in creating awareness on voters registration and general support in all our activities,” Ibrahim added.