President Muhammadu Buhari has joined the media in celebrating with Alhaji Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operations of The Nation Newspaper, on his 60th birthday.
In a congratulatory message by his spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, on Tuesday in Abuja, Buhari extolled the journalist for his dedication to duty, devotion to nation building and determination to promote democratic values.
The president noted contributions of the journalist to “political developments in the country, as a reporter and editor, regularly updating the public on germane issues with his hallmark of fairness, balance and clarity, which endear many readers to his reports’’.
Buhari joined the Nigerian Union of Journalists, and Nigerian Guild of Editors in rejoicing with the prolific reporter and editor, whose interest in humanity recently saw to his investiture as 11th President of Rotary Club of Abuja in Maitama.
The president prayed that the almighty God would guide the celebrator in his service to the nation, and bless his family.
One non-governmental organization (NGO), Ladi Memorial Foundation (LMF), says it has trained some 600 young people in skills acquisition, most of whom were vulnerable in society over the past five years.
The founder of the organization, Ms Rosemary Osikoya, revealed this at the graduation ceremony of 32 young people in the organization's skills acquisition program on Friday, in Abuja.
“The NGO aims to empower youth and women to be self-reliant and provide them with a platform to acquire life-changing guidance and mentoring from professionals.
“Since the last five years the NGO exists, we have been providing vocational services to students in and out of school at various levels.
“So far we have trained about 600 young people, most of them vulnerable in society. We are helping them access livelihood teams and give them hope, ”he said.
He explained that the 32 recently graduated beneficiaries were trained in skills such as preparation, baking, pastry, crafts, among others.
“For this program, we registered 54 people who went through our training for a period of six months. I am pleased to announce that today we are graduating 32 youth.
“Many of them sat at the sewing machine for the first time in July, but today they can make clothes for themselves and for others.
"It shows that if we give them more time or teach them over a three-year period, as we have done in junior high schools and sophomores, we can have people with real skills at the end of their formal education," he said.
He noted that most of those trained had dropped out of school but were reintroduced to school, adding that their self-esteem had increased.
“Most of the children when they started couldn't read. We organize literacy classes for them, teach them entrepreneurship and how to make a profit.
“If you interview the graduates they will tell you how much they have earned in this five-month period. They sold for profit and that's part of what we've given them.
"Skill helps build and develop your personal capacity, which is the thrust of the training," he added.
She described the program as a great success considering the number of young people it had helped to get off the streets.
He urged educational institutions at various levels to adopt modules in skills acquisition, in order to equip students with skills that keep them out of unemployment after school.
Mr. Yusuf Alli, North Operations Managing Editor of The Nation Newspaper, a facilitator of the program, praised the founder for the initiative, adding that it would divert the attention of young people from the ills of society.
"I came here to give my own support as a facilitator, but when I saw the initiative, I was encouraged."
Some of the graduates, who spoke with the Nigerian News Agency , thanked the founder for the privilege, promising to make judicial use of the opportunity.