UNDP Resident Representative Mohamed Yahya delivering his remarks. Photo: UNDP Nigeria

Entrepreneurship Development Centre
Graduation Ceremony
Vocational Skills Acquisition Programme
Wednesday 28 August 2019

Remarks by UNDP Resident Representative Mr. Mohamed Yahya

                                                               (As prepared for delivery)

Dear Acting Rector, Mr. Baba Gana Ibrahim Imam

Dear State Commissioner, Ministry of Poverty Alleviation and Youth Development, 

Distinguishes Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good morning and best wishes of the day,

Barka da Zuwa (Welcome!)

On behalf of the United Nations Development Programme, I would like to congratulate the 300 graduating students of the Ramat Polytechnic Vocation Skills Acquisition Programme.

I am particularly proud to note that the  majority of the students (exactly 184 or 61%) who are graduating today with a specialization in ten (10) different trades  are female.

Graduation is one of the most important milestones in life.

As you are about to embark on this new journey and enter the world of practical work, I invite you to look at your graduation as a beacon of hope.

This is truly a shining testament to the transformative power of learning.

One of your key responsibilities is to not only practice your new skills, but also to be role models to other youth who may follow in your footsteps.

We encourage you to use your technical knowledge to help build strong and resilient communities and to contribute to the sustainable development of Nigeria.

UNDP is a firm believer in the power of learning and a strong advocate for providing the best capacity building opportunities.

It is the raison d’être of our partnership with Ramat Polytechnic.

Our heartfelt thanks to the Ramat organization for the excellent and nurturing  environment they have provided.

For years, Ramat Polytechnic has trained students in applied science, engineering, environmental science, finance, business, and communications.

Ramat is indeed a national treasure and a unique institution.

I am also very pleased to announce that UNDP will provide qualified graduates with the opportunity to win a 180,000.00 Naira cash grant to help them launch their own business. Eligible candidates will be required to meet the following qualification criteria:

·       An attendance record of over 70 %;

·       An overall score of over 70% in theory and practice;

·       A robust and well-crafted business plan.

Thanks to UNDP’s partnership with the Centre for Community Development Research Network (CCDRN) you received training in business plan development and financial management.

I would be remiss if I did not to take this opportunity to thank the European Union (EU) whose kind and generous support made this training possible.

Launched in December 2017, the EU’s Borno Package focuses on Basic Services Restoration; Livelihoods Revitalization; Strengthening Local Governance;  Security and Social cohesion.

It is an ambitious initiative which aims to reach 600,000 beneficiaries in 15,000 households and to graduate 2400 vocational trainees.

It has already benefitted 4682 agricultural trainees and 1200 non-agricultural trainees (550 of which have already completed their training; 50 are currently being trained at Peugeot Automobile Nigeria (PAN) in Kaduna, and 600 will graduate by 2020).

I hope that the EU will continue to build on this success and support initiatives aimed at improving  resilience in Northeast Nigeria.

I would like to assure you of UNDP’s resolve and continued support for the stabilization and early recovery of Borno State.

The recent launch of our Regional Stabilization Facility during the Lake Chad Basin Governors’ Forum on 17 July in Niamey, Niger, is a testament to UNDP’s unwavering commitment to helping the people of the region tap into the full potential of its youth.

I would also like to take this opportunity to give special thanks to Mr. Baba Gana Ibrahim Imam, the Acting Rector of Ramat Polytechnic and his staff who went beyond the call of duty to provide a nurturing learning environment to their students.

 I look forward to our continued partnership in the coming years.

I would like to thank honourable Commissioner for Poverty Alleviation who took time from their busy schedule to attend this event and provide words of encouragement to our graduates.

I would like to congratulate our graduates once again.

Thank you and good luck!



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