Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, the governor of Gombe State, has reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to continue working in partnership with the United Nations Children’s Education Fund (UNICEF) and all relevant agencies to address the state’s social and economic challenges, particularly those affecting youth employment and girl-child education.
The governor said this during a meeting with stakeholders on the implementation process of of the At- Risk Children Project (ARC- P), led by the special adviser to the President Muhammadu Buhari on Social Investment, Hajiya Maryam Uwais.
The state government had this year, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the office of the special adviser to the president on Social Investment on the At-Risk Children Project, (ARC-P) aimed at complementing the efforts of state government in tackling the menace of out-of-school children and winning the war against societal ills such as drug abuse.
In a statement by the director-general Press Affairs to the governor, Ismaila Uba Misili, during the stakeholders engagement, which held at the Gombe State governor’s lodge, Abuja, Yahaya commended UNICEF for playing a pivotal role towards the establishment of the Better Education Service Delivery for All (BESDA) whose objective was to among other things, improve literacy through enrollment of out- of school-children.
He said being at the centre of the North-East, Gombe State is overwhelmed by the influx of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from contiguous states of Borno Yobe and Adamawa, noting that it was for this reason that his administration keyed into the ARC- P initiative to curb some of the societal ills and attendant vulnerability and consequences of the centrality of the state.
Yahaya informed his guests that with a population of over 3.5 million people and with about 70 to 80 per cent of unskilled youths and the rising unemployment rate among the educated ones in the state, every effort has to be explored in order to address the challenges.
The country representative of UNICEF, Mr. Ibrahim Cisse and the head of sports section of United Nations Office on drugs and crimes, (UNODC), Mr. Ibenga expressed their agencies’ commitment to the project, even as they commended governor Inuwa Yahaya for showing remarkable interest and leading the way in addressing socio-economic challenges in his state.