Otunba Segun Runsewe, Director-General, National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC),organiser of the National Festival for Arts and Culture (NAFEST), on Friday said 1600 Plateau Indigenes had benefited from NAFEST’s free skill acquisition programme.
Runsewe disclosed this during the graduation ceremony of the beneficiaries held at Langfield Leisure Park, Rayfield, Jos, Plateau.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that the beneficiaries were trained in tailoring, soap making, cosmetology, make-up and gele tieing.
They were given certificates of participation at the end of the programme.
The director-general expressed excitement over the huge number of the state indigenes that indicated interest in benefiting from the free skill acquisition programme.
He said this indicated that Plateau indigenes were more interested in using their hands to fend for themselves rather than engaging in all forms of criminalities.
” We have 1600 Plateau Indigenes trained in tailoring, make-up, cosmetology, gele tieing and soap making; we have been moving round states for this and we have never had such number of interested persons in skill acquisition.
” This indicates that things are turning around in Plateau; it shows that you are ready to use your hands to work, this is what the Chinese and Indians are doing to improve their economy, it will also help our economy and society.
” I beg you to start doing something right from now, from what you have learnt, so far.
” Please join hands with Gov. Simon Lalong in moving the state to the next level, this is very encouraging and overwhelming, I am happy,” he said.
Runsewe encouraged Nigerian hoteliers to patronise local products, most especially local soaps, to ensure that the cost of hotel accommodation was reduced which would also attract investors and tourists.
One of the beneficiaries of the free skill acquisition programme, Rita Gotip, a National Diploma holder, appreciated the organisers of the festival for impacting on Plateau Indigenes positively.
Gotip who learned Cosmetology said she had wanted to be an entrepreneur and had been watching out for such kind of opportunity for the past 3 years when she finished her National diploma programme at the National Veterinary Research Institute, Vom, near Jos.
She expressed excitement as she could now produce bathing and washing soaps as well as shear butter jelly without supervision.
” I am happy and I thank the organisers of this programme, we didn’t pay for this and I can now produce body cream and soaps for sale.
” All I need now is a little capital to start up,” she said.
Also, Nurudeen Mohammed, 14-year-old primary four pupil, said he participated in the programme to perfect his skills in tailoring, which he said, he achieved, and commended the organisers for the gesture.
Similarly, Habiba Jubril, who is seeking admission into Usman Dan Fodio University, opted for make-up and gele tieing as she said she wished to assist her parents who were not financially strong to educate their children.
” I came for this programme to be able to work and assist my parents; I thank NCAC and Plateau for this gesture, God bless them,” Jubril said.
Edited By: Abdullahi Yusuf