The Entrepreneurship Research and Development Centre (ERDC), Kaduna State University (KASU) is to produce 50,000 women and youth entrepreneurs by the end of 2019, Prof. Seth Akutson has said.

Akutson, the Director of the centre, said the measure became necessary being part of the initiatives to address the problem of unemployment in the state.

He made this known in Kaduna on Tuesday at the opening of a one-day Kaduna Entrepreneurship Volunteerism Service (KADEVS), a train-the-trainer initiative for 250 women organised by the centre.

Akutson said the 50,000 entrepreneurs would be produced under the KADEVS initiative with the first batch of 250 women drawn from the 23 Local Lovernment Areas of the state and KASU Community.

According to him, the initiative is a noble solution to the growing unemployment challenge in the state and country at large.

“Our goal is to train Kaduna state women and youths to become entrepreneurs, who in turn will train others on how to identify community challenges and turn such challenges into business ventures.

“ERDC will train and empower women and youths who will volunteer to participate, with a view to helping solve problems in their various communities and create jobs in the long run.’’

In his remarks, the Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Muhammad Tanko, reiterated the institution’s commitment to reduce the rate of unemployment in the state.

Tanko said the programme was aimed at helping the participants to realise their potential and capacity to create jobs for themselves.

“This is an opportunity coming to our youths to realise their potential and identify opportunities that can be of benefits to their communities and the society.

“There is no doubt that entrepreneurship is the solution to our economic problems and programmes, like this are ways through which the potential of entrepreneurship development could be tapped.’’

The vice chancellor thanked the state government for supporting the university to run the programme, which he said would be a huge success.

Also speaking, the state Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Malam Ja’afaru Sani, commended the centre for coming up with the initiative.

Sani, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mrs Kande Bage, said the step would help in reducing unemployment as government could not employ everyone.

The commissioner urged the entrepreneurship centre to give more priority to women by increasing the number of women beneficiaries in the programme.

According to him, the nation will be a better place if women are properly educated and given livelihood opportunities.