The Victims Support Fund (VSF), on Thursday in Abuja, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) to train 5,000 women victims of insurgency as entrepreneurs.
Prof. Sunday Ochoche, Executive Director, VSF said that the partnership also aims at providing vocational skills acquisition to 1,500 out-of-school Youths in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States.
“The entrepreneurship development project will target 5,000 community-based women entrepreneurs, already under the VSF Women Economic Empowerment (WEE) project that had benefited from the cash support.
“Existing savings and loans associations established in 2016 and 2017 will be scaled up into 250 small scale women producer groups.
“1,500 out-of-school youth in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe will also have their capacities built in vocational skills to increase their employability and self reliance.
“ N130 million had been earmarked for the first phase of the programme, which involves training in critical areas,” Ochoche said.
Ochoche said that after the training, starter packs would be given to the beneficiaries to commence their own businesses as second phase of the programme.
He explained that the partnership would further facilitate the restoration of livelihoods and hasten the community recovery process in the North-East.
He said the VSF was now working on addressing the root causes of the insurgency in North-east Nigeria, stressing that it has been discovered that lack of education and high poverty rate were responsible for the crisis in the area.
Ochoche said that the ITF had similar programmes presently running, adding that their technical skills will help VSF to fast-track its own programmes.
Also speaking, Mr Joseph Ari, Director-General of ITF, said the two organisations have some similar mandates, expressing readiness to work with VSF to actualize its programmes.
Ari said that the partnership between both organisations would help in addressing some of the root causes of the conflicts in the North-East.
He called on other stakeholders to join force with the VSF and ITF to solve the problems of the North-east.
The ITF boss added that improving the livelihood of the people was important as the country’s population was increasing drastically. (NAN)