Edo State Government is planning to introduce exchange programmes for training and retraining of youths in the state to redirect their focus positively, according to the Commissioner for Youth and Humanitarian Affairs, Hon. Zubairu Dada Abubakar.

The Commissioner disclosed this when the state Coordinator, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Mrs. Foluke Oladeinde, led her management team on a familiarization visit to the Commissioner in his office in Benin City.

“We are working with Edo citizens in the United States of America to introduce programmes for youths in Benin, Owan, Ishan and Afemai to assist them with scholarships and remote jobs that will make it possible for them to work from here,” Abubakar noted.

“We are going to start with 18 youths, one per local government and later, one per ward across the state.

“As a Ministry, our primary assignment is to give youths hope, to rekindle confidence in them. We know the problems of the youths, cultism, cybercrime and drug abuse, especially now, because of the economy.

“We know that not all of the youths are bad, but the good ones live in the same society with the bad ones. The only way we can curb peer pressure is to do what we can to positively affect their lives and to redirect their focus positively,” he said.

The Commissioner, who is the Chairman, Governing Board of NYSC, said the only way this can be done is to build the hope of the youth and let them see a bright future, adding that they are leaders of today and with that hope in their mind they will be positively focused instead of being negative.

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“On my visit to Abuja, I was at the Ministry of Youth, Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and the Ministry of Niger Delta Development, where I met with the Minister, all to address youth matters by way of empowerment, training and retraining and exchange programmes,” he added.

While noting that the ministry is open to ideas that will move youths forward in the state, the Commissioner assured that the immediate needs and projects in the permanent camp of the NYSC will be addressed.

The State Coordinator of NYSC, Oladeinde expressed appreciation to the Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, for appointing the Commissioner, whom she noted was “a right peg in the right hole”.

“When I went through your background, I discovered that you have done a lot for the youths in the state.

“You have been contributing your quota to the development of youths at the grassroots level and for the little time since you assumed office as Commissioner, we saw the passion you have for the youths when you defied the rain to join us during the passing out of the Youth Corps members recently,” she said.

The NYSC Coordinator presented a painting made by a corps member and a greeting card to the Commissioner during the visit.