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Kaduna ‘Panteka’ market empowers 600,000 youths with sustainable skills – Chairman

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An empowerment group, Old Panteka Development Association, says it trained 600,000 youths in Kaduna State on various trades since its establishment in 1970.

The Chairman of the association, Alhaji Suleiman Shehu, stated this during an advocacy on voter education convened by Kaduna Progressives Group, on Saturday in Kaduna.

Shehu said the youth were trained on carpentry, welding, painting, roofing, plumbing, electrical work and other trades.

According to him, the Panteka market is an industry in itself with 38 sections, each engaged in different trades.

“We produce so many things that people buy from abroad, we train and retrain the youth.

“Our market has been supporting government programmes and we have members across Kaduna state running businesses and earning a living.

“In panteka we have graduates from all over the state and those still going to school.

“We have collaborated with Kaduna Polytechnic on skills acquisition.

“Currently, government is in the process of intevening through SMEDAN to give us some machines that will assist us,” he added.

He said that the Chairman of Kaduna South Local Government, Alhaji Kabiru Jarimi, had allocated a piece of land to the association to enhance its empowerment activities.

“Prof. Idris Bugaje, the then Rector of Kaduna Polytechnic selected 20 people from panteka market for quality assurance training which was concluded and they have started monitoring our products.

“Today panteka youths can be certified on various trades because of our collaboration with Kaduna polytechnic.

“Our hope is that in future, we will build hostels to accommodate trainees and students on internship, attending our skills acquisition programmes,” Shehu said.

On voters registration, the chairman said that the association had been mobilising its members to obtain the permanent voters cards.

He urged the Independent National Electoral Commission of Nigeria (INEC) to set up Voters’ Registration units to register eligible voters working in the market.

Malam Murtala Usman, the association’s Welfare Officer, said they had also started the Almajiri skills acquisition training, to empower the almajiri school pupils with skills to be self-reliant.

He added that Panteka market was also a research centre on small and medium scale enterprises.

The Chairman, Kaduna progressive group, Dr Bashir Ibrahim, said the market, which had more than 4,000 shops and 50,000 registered members, contributed greatly to the economic development of Kaduna state.

“Our coming today is to seek for your support on creating awareness on voters registration and general support in all our activities,” Ibrahim added.

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