BY KHALID IDRIS DOYA, Bauchi
The Bauchi State Coordinator of the North East Development Commission (NEDC), Ibrahim Mohammed Bashir has described the briquette being produced from agricultural and domestic waste as a good source of export earnings for the country and the Northeast sub-region in particular.
Speaking at the closing ceremony of a weeklong training for artisans and scavengers on efficient stoves and briquette production from agricultural and domestic waste organized by the commission held in Bauchi Friday, the coordinator explained the briquette being produced in the Northeast would generate huge foreign exchange for the country.
Coordinator Ibrahim Bashir said, “I have been privileged to see the briquette being package in cartons for export. If you are able to export it to foreign countries, it would attract a lot of money, so it is a very good source of economic empowerment”.
According to him, “If anyone could be opportune to export at least a load of trailer of the briquette, I’m sure such a person would start manufacturing his own”, and appealed to the training participants not to play with the skills they acquired during the training.
According to him, “It has already been stated that the NEDC will give them some of the equipment they need in order to empower them to be able to train others in their respective areas of proficiency.”
He assured that if any of them encounters any problems, they will be sorted out in consultation with the NEDC saying, “We will make sure that the program is made to run smoothly so that the aim of training them will be achieved
Also speaking during the occasion, the trainer of the artisans and scavengers, Engr. Saleh Yakmut noted that the training has proved that the mandate of the commission has come to be directly proportional with the mandate of the people of the North East sub-region.
He said, “I have done this kind of training for the past 11 to 12 years, but this is the very first time I’m seeing an overall commitment and zeal to actually not only understand the training as a business and to pick up the contents, but one beauty thing of it is all the six states are ready to go back and have a synergy on production”.
“If I’m doing stoves in Gombe and another person is doing charcoal in Borno, I can call Gombe and say send me your stoves, send me more charcoal, I don’t have enough. Right now we have an order from only Borno state of 27, 000 bags, and for the past six months, we have only been able to give them 8, 000 bags. Each bag is 30kg and it is being sold at N5, 500.”
“So what North East Development Commission has done now is not only empowered the participants, but even empowered us the three companies as a business to have more people in the production of the briquette”, saying if this trend continued, it is going to eradicate poverty in totality in the Northeast sub-region”, Yakmut said.
At the end of the training, 54 years old Mrs Esther Jonah Febinuins emerged overall best in the fabrication of efficient stoves and briquette production from agricultural and domestic waste.
Speaking to Journalists, an elated Mrs Esther Jonah commended NEDC for the training which she said has exposed them to the technology of reducing unemployment among teeming youths and creating sources of making genuine wealth.
She said that “Of a truth, the experience I have gotten here is that whenever someone is going for a workshop, he should go there with the mind of wanting to achieve something better because the first day we came here I was thinking that it will take us only three days but because it was a very good experience, we put in our best effort there”.
“All the trainers really tried for us to make sure that we gained what really brought us here. They showed and taught us a lot of things that when we go back we will be able to replicate to others and thereby eradicate poverty in the North-East sub-region. We really got what they impacted in us”, she added.
Esther Jonah said that she was motivated to fight among the men because she has believe in herself coupled with faith in God for the ability to perform saying, “God is always by my side and I know that if I trust in God, He will continue to lead me wherever I go. I did not fear anything. That is the reason I put in my best and to the glory of God, I emerged the best.”
She then called on the Federal Government to come to their support by providing the necessary things needed for the participants to practice what they have learnt adding that they from Taraba state will form a group in order to be able to perform.
The training was put together by the NEDC as part of the effort to eradicate poverty and make youths employers of labour in the subregion.
Some of the trainees Ahmed Ibrahim Umar from Adamawa State and Jonah Febuins from Taraba State said they learnt practical aspect of stove fabrication through processing of waste.