Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Faruk Yahaya, has awarded scholarship to Mr Sanusi Abubakar and Miss Jennifer Okechukwu, the best male and best female trainees who graduated from the Nigerian Army Officers Wives’ Association (NAOWA) training institute to any university of their choice.
General Yahaya who made the announcement on Thursday, during the graduation of the third batch of 264 barrack youths in the NAOWA Youth Development Project in Abuja, reiterated the commitment of the Nigerian Army to empowerment of barracks youths.
The Nigerian Army, he said, would fund the scholarship as a way of encouraging barrack youths to fulfil their dreams and aspirations.
He said the Nigerian army had always emphasised the need to guide youths towards realising their dreams and ambitions, adding that the report of their conduct from the first batch to the present was encouraging.
“What you have just done was to graduate another batch of youths from our barracks trained in various skills in four areas of computer and Information Technology management.
“Then there are those who have acquired skills in tailoring and fashion designing. There are 32 of them in fashion designing and they have all been given starter packs.
“So, as they leave now, they are already established to start businesses and have been empowered in various skills of their interests.
“We have also given scholarships to the best two. That is the best male and best female to further their education anywhere they want and we will support them.
“Youth development is of importance for the Nigerian army and we will continue to support it.
“We have abundance of youths in the barracks with a lot of skills and competencies that we will continue to harness so that we can make them better people,’’ he said.
In her remarks, President of NAOWA and wife of the Chief of Army Staff, Mrs Salamatu Yahaya, said the project was initiated to positively engage youths within the barracks community.
This, she explained was done by committing the youths to learning in the fields of ICT and vocational and entrepreneurial skills that would enhance their academic and career pursuits and their productivity.
Mrs Yahaya said the third batch had 32 youths that participated in a three-month intensive training in fashion designing and tailoring in addition to the ICT trainees.
She said the introduction of fashion designing and tailoring expanded the earlier training module which was limited to ICT.
According to her, the ICT segment of the training is conducted by Unites Cisco Networking Academy, technical facilitators of the programme.
The fashion designing and tailoring trainings were carried out by instructors at the NAOWA Institute of Management and Technology, she added.
“In continuation of what we did during the first and second graduation ceremonies, we shall present brand new laptop computers to the best three graduating trainees in each of the five ICT courses.
“Additionally, we shall be presenting starter packs, comprising of brand new industrial sewing and weaving machines to all the 32 graduating trainees of fashion designing and tailoring
“The laptops would be issued to 17 ICT trainees, who distinguished themselves by their conduct and outstanding performance as a mark of recognition of excellence and encouragement for continuous learning for the recipients.
“The sewing and weaving machines that would be issued to the graduating trainees of fashion designing and tailoring are our way of actualising their wants and zeal for learning and self-empowerment.
“It is our hope that these machines would enable the beneficiaries to begin work immediately with their acquired skills, and would enable them to generate funds to cater to their needs,” she said.
In her intervention, a former president of NAOWA, Mrs Hadiza Dambazzau, commended the association for upholding and improving on the objectives of NAOWA.