By Ahmed Rahma
It is believed that unemployment among the youth was a critical factor behind the destruction and lootings that followed the recent #EndSARS protests.
In order to address this serious threat and prevent a reoccurrence of the agitation, the Coalition Alliance Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) is planning to spend not less than N150 billion on youth empowerment.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, who made this disclosure, also said the group has so far spent N43.27 billion on the acquisition of medical equipment and supplies and food palliatives for the vulnerable and others.
Speaking during a press briefing in Lagos on Wednesday at the office of the CBN, the nation’s chief banker assured that CACOVID will rehabilitate all the police stations that were damaged in the country last month.
He said, “CACOVID has committed to fully rehabilitate all 44 damaged and destroyed police stations nationwide in a bid to restore the provision of security in affected locations.
“To further strengthen the security apparatus in the country, CACOVID has committed to providing over N100 billion to procure equipment and gadgets for the Nigeria Police Force over the next two years; as our contribution to fully modernise the police.”
According to him, the preliminary analysis indicated that unemployment, particularly among the youth, was a critical factor behind the unrest.
As a result, he stated that CACOVID had committed to create a high impact youth development programme that would provide technical and vocational education to over four million Nigerian youths over the next five years.
“Over N150 billion is expected to be deployed towards the setup and implementation of the youth development programme, which will be available at select training centres across the country,” he said.
Mr Emefiele stated that “selected students on the conclusion of the programme would be certified by the appropriate standards board and would be eligible to receive loans to support their entrepreneurial pursuits.”
“Over N25 billion would be domiciled in a fund to support these entrepreneurial pursuits, which would also include acquisition of related equipment to conduct business activities,” he added.
According to him, these efforts represent some of the essential steps that were important in rebuilding trust and preventing future unrest within the communities.
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