LAUNCH OF PROJECT DOCUMENTS ON YOUTH DEVELOPMENT AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH NEEDS IN NASARAWA STATE


SPEECH DELIVERED BY HIS EXCELLENCY UMARU TANKO ALMAKURA,GOVERNOR, NASARAWA STATE ON THE OCCASION OF PUBLIC PRESENTATION AND LAUNCH OF PROJECT DOCUMENTS ON YOUTH DEVELOPMENT AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH NEEDS IN NASARAWA STATE HELD AT THE TA’AL CONFERENCE HOTEL ON THE 13TH AUGUST, 2015.

Protocol.

1. It gives me great pleasure to address you this morning on the occasion of the formal public presentation and launch of the document on Youth development and Reproductive Health Needs in Nasarawa State.

2. Let me use this moment to welcome the delegation of the Nigeria Academy of Science, University of Lagos and other distinguished guests gathered here to witness this occasion.

3. We are happy that Nasarawa State is one of your project implementation states in the country in addition to Ekiti. Your choice of Ekiti state in South West and Nasarawa State in the North Central, is not a mere coincidence but a reality of Nigerian situation as the two states share common identity having been created the same date and are usually the last on the Federation Account Allocation table. This has reflected in the efforts by various administration to bring about
development in order to catch up with other states of the federation.

4. The result of this finding has further demonstrated that the incidences of poverty and under development are hinged to this low level of revenue accruing to states in the federation.

5. However, we are happy to state that following prudent management of scarce resources, Nasarawa State has been able to reverse this ugly trend in the last four years of this administration.

6. Realizing the importance of youths to the development of our state, government has been able to equip the four Skills Acquisition Centers located in Doma, Wamba, Nasarawa and Lafia. The state government has also signed a Technical Agreement with the Singaporean government with a view to provide technical equipments and further enhance the quality of training of women and youths in various skills that will snowball into industrial development.

7. So far, these centers have been able to train and graduated a number of youths who have since been empowered with the needed resources for self actualization.

8. It is gratifying to note that these categories of persons have also engaged in the training of other women and youths thereby reducing the high rate of unemployment and youth involvement in social vices.

9. In addition to all these, the state government has also built model primary and junior secondary schools which have been adequately equipped with manpower and instructional materials for teaching and learning. Tertiary institutions in the state are also given priority attention.

10. Government has also been able to address the issue of poor school enrolment and retention with the introduction of free feeding and tuition in all primary and secondary schools. We have also built and commissioned e-libraries in the state to boost learning in this ICT age.

11. Since assumption of office in 2011, we have intensified efforts to address low level of enrolment and retention through the provision of adequate support for the girl child education. This has yielded gainful result as most girls have continued to indicate interest in school rather than hawking and other forms of activities that has no direct bearings to their growth and development.

12. In our modest effort to empower the physically challenged the state government has built special Schools for various category of physically challenged in the three senatorial districts in the state.

13. Nonetheless, government has noted recommendations made in the document about to be launched. We are happy to say that these also fall in line with our development agenda of probity and due process as a deliberate policy to inculcate discipline and self reliance among our youths.

14. Government will pay special attention to the provision of reproductive health services and adequate information on sexuality education. Only recently Mobile Clinic vans were procured and put into use for the provision of quality health services, particularly to women and youths in the rural areas.

15. In the next four years of this administration, government intends to vigorously pursue the equipping of all our schools with science laboratory equipment as well as install computers to facilitate teaching and learning.

16. Presently, government is working to ensure that entrepreneurship is made compulsory in all our state owned tertiary institutions.

17. While government appreciates the Nigeria Academy of Science and the Ford Foundation for the survey and eventual launch of this document, we look forward to a sustained partnership in the implementation of this document.

18. It is now my pleasure to launch and present these two documents to the public with the hope that private sector operators will key into the policy and partner with government in this regard.

19. Thank you and God bless.