- Obaseki approves payment of stipends to Libya returnees
Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City
Based on Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki’s promise to create 200,000 jobs and equip youths to exploit opportunities in Nigeria’s evolving technology eco-system, the state government has concluded plans to partner Microsoft and Tech4Dev in training 50,000 persons on digital literacy skills.
EdoJobs, the state government’s job creation and skills development platform, is coordinating the training in the state and will, through its portal, supply participants as well as other logistics for the programme.
Of the 50,000 participants in the programme, Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Job Creation, Mrs. Ukinebo Dare, in a statement, said 500 would be coached as master trainers, who will facilitate the step-down training for others.
According to her, “We have reached advanced stage of preparation for the training programme to commence in Edo State. Microsoft and Tech4Dev plan to train about 500,000 persons across Nigeria. Of that number, 50,000 people will be trained in Edo State. While the two firms are conducting the training, we are here in the state to coordinate logistics and other support structures to make the training possible.”
She said the Edojobs portal, which has over 220,000 registered users, would supply some of the participants for the training programme, noting, “We are excited about the training. It serves as another addition to the series of trainings we are providing to Edo people and helping them build capacity to work for gainful employment or run businesses.
“But what is most impressive about this training is that it affords people to gain in-demand skills, especially as the world is moving towards tech-driven solutions to every-day problems.”
The training programme is designed to train young people including those in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions, foundational digital skills required to actively participate in the 21st-century knowledge economy.
The programme will take place offline and Microsoft will supply teaching aids to the educators who will train young people in schools and communities across the country.
The module for the training includes introduction to computer, productivity tools, workplace essentials, big data and cloud technologies, cyber security and digital lifestyles.
Meanwhile, Governor Obaseki, has approved the verification exercise and payment of three months’ stipends for new batch of Libya returnees of Edo State origin.
Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the Governor on Anti-Human Trafficking and Illegal Migration, Mr. Solomon Okoduwa, disclosed this during the verification exercise, noting, “The approval for the verification exercise and payment for the new batch of returnees are part of the promises made by the governor to assist victims of human trafficking and illegal migration and reintegrate them into society.”
Okoduwa said since the first two batches of returnees were received by the state government between November 7 and 15, 2017, the state has recorded 26 other batches totalling 3,165 returnees.
“The verification exercise for the new batch of returnees will be processed in the next 12 days, after which payment of their stipends will commence. Each returnee will be paid a stipend of N20,000 per month for three months. Among them, pregnant women will be entitled to N25,000 each, while those with babies will get N30,000 each,” he said.
Okoduwa assured the returnees that they would get their stipends, urging them to follow the required procedures to get verified.
Assistant Secretary, Edo State Taskforce against Human Trafficking and Illegal Migration, Lilian Garuba, said “The returnees who had been verified have been paid. The verification is a precondition for getting the stipends, so we encourage them to come forward for the exercise.
She added, “Those who are yet to be verified should be patient. We assure them that the taskforce is working to ensure that the directive of the governor is fully carried out. The exercise is to ensure that we monitor the progress of reintegration and follow up where necessary.”
One of the returnees, Idemudia Grace confirmed that she had gotten her pay for a month, adding, “I am here for another round of verification to receive the second payment.”
Oghogho Moses, who turned up for the exercise, commended the governor for keeping to his promise to pay returnees the stipends, noting, “Obaseki has done well for the returnees, he is the first if not the only governor in the country to make provision for stipends to returnees and other packages to assist the returnees’ reintegration into the society.”