Cesar Tshilombo, UNHCR’s Head of Sub-Office Maiduguri, disclosed this at the graduation of 800 trainees of the skills acquisition programme in Maiduguri.
Tshilombo said that the agency had initiated a comprehensive programme designed to train displaced persons on 17 trades such as tailoring; agriculture, fishery, iron bending and fabrication.
Others are: soap and beads making, computer literacy as well as fashion design.
He said that the agency had also distributed working tools worth over N60 million to the graduates of its skills training programme, to enable them to set up their own businesses
Tshilombo listed generators, sewing and grinding machines as some of the equipment distributed to the beneficiaries.
The UN official explained that the training programme was executed in collaboration with the World Food Programme (WFP), Food and Agriculture Organization, Federal and Borno State Governments, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and American University of Nigeria (AUN).
“It is a livelihood graduation; UNHCR has organised 17 craft training for skill acquisition mainly for IDPs in host communities and returnees in newly-liberated areas.
“We have trained 11, 000 people and we have selected the most talented among them who had really trained and we have grouped them into 80 cooperatives.
“UNHCR will provide N20, 000 to each of the 80 cooperatives for a period of three months, to enable them to rent shops for their business.
“We also identified the most vulnerable in the society and trained them to reduce poverty and provide them with means of livelihood”.
Tshilombo added that the agency had established four Skills Acquisition Centres in Borno to facilitate smooth running of the programme.
According to him, the agency has adopted effective modalities to ensure sustainability and enhance participation in the programme.
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