Stop giving handouts to the poor instead give them skills, Gumel advise rich Nigerians

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The Chairman, Senate Committee on States and Local Government Administration, Sen. Abdullahi Gumel says giving of handouts to the less privileged will not alleviate poverty in the country.

Gumel said this at the graduation of 96 students from the Malam Garba Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organisation involved in vocational training for the less privileged.

The lawmaker, who sponsored 36 of the graduates, said it was high time wealthy Nigerians made meaningful impact on the lives of poor Nigerians.

According to him, if every well to do Nigerian resolves to empower the poor through skills acquisition rather than handing out stipends, the rate of crime, poverty and unemployment will reduce drastically.

“I want every rich Nigerian to establish a foundation like this. We will not be helping the less privileged by giving them handouts.

“It is demeaning and shameful. In most cases they do not use the money for anything meaningful.

“In some cases, it aids crime because some of them use the money to smoke cigarette and take to illicit drugs,’’ he said.

The lawmaker said he was motivated by the non-relentlessness of President Muhammadu Buhari in assisting poor Nigerians to become independent.

“I learnt this from the president. He is so passionate about Nigerians depending on themselves rather than depending on the government or other people.

“I would prefer to be popular at the grassroots with the downtrodden.

“I also feel this is the time to give back to the society because I was sponsored in school by government.

“I wasn’t the best at the time but I was lucky to be among the people that benefitted from the magnanimity of the government.

“We actually applied for more slots  but we were able to get only 36 because of the numerous applications from different parts of the country.’’

According to him, if I am given more slots, I will train more people. Whenever there are slots I will make sure I enroll my people and see through their training.

Gumel commended the NGO for the professionalism with which the trainers discharged their duties.

He said the quality of learning reflected in the quality of graduates so far produced by the foundation.

“Besides skills acquisition, the foundation did a good job in molding the character of the trainees.

“Most of them who were unruly before enrolling have been properly shaped by the foundation.

“They are now disciplined Nigerians, who have jobs to do.’’

He called for more publicity for the foundation, which was doing everything possible to produce entrepreneurs and self-reliant Nigerians to enable them contribute meaningfully to the development of the nation.

Gumel urged the graduates to use their tools effectively, so that they too could create jobs for other Nigerians that would work under them.

Earlier, Ahmed Gumel, the Director of the foundation, said it was non-partisan and non-faith based organisation aimed at empowering the less privileged.

He said the foundation, which was established about 10 years ago, had impacted positively on the lives of many less privileged Nigerians.

“It is a non-political, non-religious organisation that is working to drastically reduce unemployment and various forms of crime in the country.

“In 2016 alone, we graduated more than 4000 students and we do not just train and abandon them. In Niger state alone, we graduated 120 of them same year.

“We also help them to set up businesses that would make them independent and productive.

“Besides the head office in Kaduna, we have centres in some parts of the country and the aim is to reach out to as many less privileged as possible,’’  he said.

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