Lafia - Governor Umaru Al-Makura of Nasarawa State has offered employment to 10 persons out of 40 persons living with HIV/AIDs who had just concluded a skills acquisition programme in the state.
Al-makura announced the gesture on Saturday in Lafia at the 5th graduation of beneficiaries of the programme, trained at Mother and Child Care Enhancement Foundation, a pet project of Salamatu Umaru-Almakura.
Fourty beneficiaries were trained in different skills, including tailoring, knitting, hairdressing, interior decorations and catering.
He said that providing employment to people living with HIV/AIDs was to give them a sense of belonging as well as to improve their standard of living.
He commended his wife, the initiator of the foundation "for not only fighting youth restiveness and unemployment in the state but for also training persons living with HIV/AIDs to make them self-reliant".
"I want to thank the graduate trainees for the boldness and acceptance of your status as HIV/AIDS patients and I urge you to continue with your medication in order to live longer.
"On behalf of Nasarawa State Government, I have offered automatic employment to 10 of you who have the necessary qualification.
"You should submit your credentials to the appropriate quota for immediate employment.
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"I also want to support each of you with the sum of N100,000, making a total of N4 million to 40 of you who graduated today in different skills," the governor said
He urged people in the state and Nigerians to always go for test in order know their HIV/AIDs status so as to complement government efforts in making the society HIV/AIDs-free.
He reiterated government’s commitment to continually support persons living with HIV/AIDs and others diseases in order to improve their standard of living.
In his speech, the Executive Director of the Nasarawa State Aids and Control Agency (NASACA), Dr Zakari Umar, commended Mrs Al-Makura for her initiative in fighting the scourge in the state and called for its sustenance.
Earlier, Salamatu Al-Makura had said that she established the foundation to provide succour to persons living with HIV/AIDs as well as the less-privileged.
She said that the programme was aimed at providing skills for the less-privileged to make them self-reliant and be able to contribute their quota to national development.
“This empowerment programme is a step at taking your destiny in your hands and I urge you to make good use of the skills you acquired here and to even become employers of labour,’’ she told the graduating beneficiaries.
Responding on behalf of the beneficiaries, Mr Jatau Agidi, thanked the governor’s wife for the gesture and promised that they would make good use of the new skills.
Highlight of the event was the distribution of equipment and certificates to the trainees by the governor’s wife.