A total of 157 youths from the Niger Delta have completed a two weeks intensive training at Nigeria’s premier Technical University, First Technical University (Tech-U), Ibadan.
The Youth Empowerment Programme is a product of a partnership between the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and the University.
Speaking at the closing ceremony which held at Tech-U last Friday, the Minister of the Niger Delta, Pastor Usani Usani, who was represented at the event by Mr. Ibrahim Akanya, Director, Economic Empowerment Directorate of the Ministry, noted that the empowerment was necessitated by the need to develop the manpower capacity of the Niger Delta region.
According to him, “development is not about physical infrastructure alone, but also about developing the requisite manpower that can propel the development of the region. We are interested in developing both physical infrastructure and human capital to be able to enhance significantly the quality of living in the Niger Delta region”.
While commending Tech-U for the quality of training given to the beneficiaries, some of whom were recent returnees from Libya, Mr. Akanya charged the participants to put to good use the skills they have acquired at the University.
The TVET beneficiaries were trained in agro-allied ventures such as fisheries and poultry in addition to a host innovative skills required for successful business operations.
Mr. Akanya also admonished the participants to judiciously deploy the take-off grant of given to them to kick-start a truly rewarding entrepreneurial life.
Tech-U Vice Chancellor, Professor Ayobami Salami appreciated the Ministry for finding Tech-U as a worthy partner in its commitment to empowering Nigerian youths. He noted that the Youth Empowerment Programme is one of the flagship interventions of the University conceived to fight frontally the rising scourge of unemployment in the country.
“As implemented by the University’s Centre for Technical, Vocational Entrepreneurship Training (TVET), it is devoted to equipping individuals with skills acquisition and entrepreneurship training in carefully-selected areas of needs in the larger society. Aside commitment to bridging the yawning skills gap, the programme is focused on generating self-employment among the teeming youths of the country”.
“Tech-U holds the conviction that a truly productive nation must necessarily be pivoted on sustained and strategic investment in human capital development. Therefore, this programme, in addition to the other unique offerings anchored on the innovative model of education we are known for, as a socially responsive corporate entity, reflects our avowed commitment to making Nigeria work by getting her young people empowered for wealth creation”, Salami Said.
Speaking further, Salami said, “So far, since the commencement of this initiative, about 350 youths have been trained in diverse skills and our target is to have at least 1000 beneficiaries before the end of 2019. We are on a mission to spearheading a silent revolution that would ultimately disrupt Nigeria’s economy for good. We therefore call on other well-meaning citizens and agencies to work with us as we seek to create a brighter future for our nation”.
While congratulating the beneficiaries for the discipline and willingness demonstrated in the course of the programme, he charged the beneficiaries to be good ambassadors of the University.
“I would like to specially congratulate all our 154 beneficiaries from the Niger Delta region of the country, who are the latest addition to our bourgeoning list of ambassadors. You have, through this programme, been conferred with the prestigious status of TVET alumni of the University and this naturally places a responsibility on your shoulders to live as change agents within a citizenry yearning for hope. Going by our fledging reputation as a unique citadel of learning with positively disruptive educational model, it is indeed a proud heritage. Hence, we expect you to not only put to practice all that you have been exposed to, but to also exemplify the best entrepreneurial practices that would make you create wealth and become a notable employers of labour”.
Amadi Osaroni, a beneficiary from Ikwere, Rivers State, appreciated the Minister of the Niger Delta for the transparency in the selection of participants and for the quality of the training. He pledged, on behalf of his colleagues, to build successful businesses that would justify the Ministry’s investment in the initiative.
Packaged by Olayinka Agboola