Gyang Bere, Jos
Beni Lar, the member representing Langtang North and South, Plateau State, in the House of Representatives has commenced a campaign against poverty in Plateau South.
Lar, a daughter of the first civilian governor of Plateau State, Chief Solomon Lar, insisted that the fight against poverty among women and youths is crucial to the survival of Plateau State and Nigeria.
She noted that idleness created by unemployment is responsible for crime among the youth. She expressed hope that skills acquisition and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMS) would proffer solution to the challenges.
She recently organised a two-week training workshop for women and youths on waste to wealth management and production of cosmetics in Langtang North and South Local Government Area of the state.
“The fight against poverty is crucial to our survival, and Small Medium Enterprises (SME) is the answer. We believe that SMEs can make us and our nation sufficient. It will make women and youths sufficient.
“In fighting poverty in Nigeria today, the answer is SMEs. We are training over 1, 050 women and youths in the acquisition of various skills, cosmetic production, soap production, production of solar panels and others,” she said.
The participants were trained also in how to make other products, including multipurpose liquid soap, enriched black bathing soap, household bleach, antiseptic and disinfectant solution and body cream. They were also trained in a number of other skills.
The legislator said she has trained 150 youth and women on renewable energy and auto mechanic. Also, she had commissioned a multi million naira leather processing centre in Jos.
She expressed hope that in the next 10 years, Tarok people as well as others from Plateau South would not rely on white collar job, noting that poverty and joblessness would have been kicked out of Langtang North and South.
The incoming chairman of Langtang North Local Government Area, Ubandoma Joshua Laven lamented how politicians used and dumped the youth and women after elections.
He challenged the youths to take advantage of the skills acquisition programme and Small Scale and Medium Enterprise (SMS) to be self-reliant and economically independent.
He admonished women and youths to shun all forms of social vices, including prostitution and armed robbery, and channel their energy towards meaningful activities that would contribute to the development of the society.
Said he: “This training is for youths and women on waste to wealth management and cosmetics production. We have all realised that Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) are contributing 50 percent to the growth and development of the economies of developing nations and Hon. Beni Lar has being doing everything humanly possible to develop people in her constituency.
“She has trained people to reduce the demands in the labour market by 50 per cent. The best thing we should do is to begin to make people independent and self sufficient, instead of relying on white collar jobs. Those type of jobs are no more.
“If you go to the developed countries today, SMEs are the greatest contributors to their economy and we want to replicate that in Langtang and in other parts of the state. that was why we embarked on this training for wealth creation to see how to assist government.
“We intend to identify those who are more committed after giving them the start up packs and secure loans for them in the Bank of Industry. The light that we have here was produced by some of the resource persons who came for the training.
“We will give each participant a start up capital of N100,000. Many people have testified, that some people started their own with N5, 000 but they have become employers of labour today. And I think N100,000 is a serious capital to start business with.”
The Coordinator of National Research Institute for Chemical Technology (NARICT), Langtang zonal office, Samuel Joseph said the mandate of NARICT, which is research and development, is to find solutions to poverty challenges and unemployment and harnessing locally available resources in the country.
He maintained that NARICT has mobilised resources for capacity building networking relationship towards sustainable development and entrepreneurship development programme to create enormous job opportunities for the teeming unemployed youth in the country.
He encouraged the entrepreneurial development of the Nigerian youth, income generation for both individual and government to boast the economy, alleviating poverty and social vices from the society and improving the economy of the country through Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs.
He pointed out that the essence of the training was for everyone to own his or her own business so that at the end of the day, they can became employers of labour. He said it was in view of the above that NARICT established outstations in the six geo-political regions in the country to serve as a link between the headquarters and the whole country.
Joseph added that NARICT had trained science teachers on how to handle processes in school laboratories for students during Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Agricultural practical sessions, and supply laboratory equipments as well as NARICT organic fertilizer which is environment-friendly.
He said with SMEs, the looming challenges of insecurity and social vices in Plateau South would be history if other representatives adopt the strategy of engaging idle youths and women like the lawmaker, Ms Lar.