By Peter Awunah
In September 2023, the Benue State Government under Governor Hyacinth Alia made a promising announcement to train 10,000 youths in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) through the initiative dubbed ‘Benue Go-Digital.’ The initiative was touted as a means to empower the youth, create employment opportunities, and alleviate poverty in the state. However, three months have passed, and the much-anticipated ICT training is yet to commence, leaving many hopeful youths disillusioned and disheartened.
The failure of the Benue State Government to follow through on its commitment to provide ICT training for the aspiring youths is not only disappointing but also a disservice to the future of these young individuals and the state as a whole. The Alia government’s inability to deliver on its promise reflects a lack of accountability, foresight, and respect for the aspirations of the youth.
When the announcement was made, it sparked enthusiasm and hope among the youth of Benue State who saw the opportunity as a pathway to acquiring valuable skills, enhancing their employability, and contributing to the development of the state’s technology sector. However, the prolonged delay in the commencement of the training has left many of these young people in limbo, uncertain about their future and disillusioned by the government’s empty promises.
The promised collaboration with reputable tech entities such as Troika Tech Digital Communications Ltd, Google, and Microsoft indeed raised expectations for a high-quality and comprehensive training program. The involvement of these industry leaders was seen as a positive sign for the initiative, yet the failure to launch the training reflects poorly on the government of Alia’s ability to effectively manage such partnerships and deliver on its commitments.
The impact of this failure extends beyond disappointment to encompass lost opportunities for the youth of Benue State. With unemployment and underemployment already posing significant challenges, the delay in the ICT training program further exacerbates the plight of young people seeking to secure a better future through skills development and job opportunities.
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Governor Alia was not under pressure to make the promise, if he knew that his government would later abandon the ICT training program. But again, this demonstrates the lack of organization and planning in the current administration. The disappointment among the thousands of Benue youths who already registered for the training program is worse than when no promise was made. The failure to kickstart the training has exposed the Alia government as one which is not prepared and is embarking on hasty decisions.
The Benue State Government’s failure to deliver on the promised ICT training for 10,000 youths is a huge letdown that cannot be overlooked. It is a disheartening reflection of the Alia government’s disregard for the aspirations and well-being of the youth, and it underscores the urgent need for decisive action to rectify this failure and honor its commitment to the future of Benue State.
It is imperative for the Benue State Government to recognize the gravity of its failure to uphold its promise and take immediate corrective action. Transparent communication regarding the reasons for the delay and a clear timeline for the commencement of the training are essential to rebuild trust and credibility with the youth and the public at large.
* Awunah writes from Durumi, Abuja.