A non-governmental organisation, Paradigm Initiative, has trained no fewer than 1,000 Nigerian youths in Life skills, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Financial Readiness and Entrepreneurship (LIFE) since inception in 2007.

Mr Gabriel Odunsi, Paradigm Initiative’s Programme Officer in charge of Ajegunle LIFE in Lagos State, made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Monday.

Odunsi said that the training focused on underprivileged secondary school leavers in suburbs to empower them to be entrepreneurs, employable and further education.

He said that Paradigm Initiative conducted the training in three suburbs in Nigeria including Ajegunle in Lagos State.

“Ajegunle has produced 694 graduates in all. The programme started in Ajegunle in 2007; from 2007 to 2011, we produced 145 graduates; in 2012, 58 graduates, and in 2013, 71 graduates.

“In 2014, Ajegunle LIFE produced 122 graduates; 2015, 153; 2016, 75; and 2017, 57, while 2018 is ongoing.

“Aba started in 2014 with 100 graduates; 255 in 2015; and 134 in 2016, while Kano Centre started in 2016 with 121 graduates from four batches, and 91 graduates from three batches in 2017,” he said.

According to him, the number of trainees dropped in 2016 because there were only two sessions that accommodated more weeks and hours of extensive training to turn out quality graduates.

Odunsi said that 147 of the 330 trainees in 2016 became self-employed or secured jobs after the training, while 15 went on internship and the others furthered their education.

According to the official, 60 of the 248 trainees in 2017 have been employed, 48 became self-employed, two on internship and others advanced studies.

The Director of Programmes of Paradigm Initiative, Mrs Tope Ogundipe, had earlier told NAN that young people from poor environment could easily go into cybercrime and other vices if not meaningfully engaged.

According to Ogundipe, Paradign Initiative was committed to training such youths on how to make money legitimately on the Internet.

She said that some of the trainings were on web design and graphic design.

“We expose them to such things and let them know they are legitimate ways to make money on the Internet and get jobs anywhere in the world.

“Nigeria is not yet there but we are making progress, and will get there technologically,” Ogundipe said.

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