Kasim Sumaina in Abuja
The Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineers (NIME) has disclosed its preparedness to train not less than 500 girls in auto-mechanic skill.
NIME, noted that the beneficiaries of the project, ‘Girls Auto Squad,’ would be drawn from Abuja and Lagos.
The programme project, NIME, stated was in collaboration with Nenis Auto Care and Auto Lady Synergy Coy Ltd, Abuja.
Speaking to the press, shortly after the inauguration of the project in Abuja, the National Chairman of the institute Engr. Robinson Ejilah, revealed that the project was being put together to address the problem of shortage of skillful population in the economy.
He said building capacity of girls and young women through productive skill acquisition would enable them realise their potential and enhance the country’s Gross Domestic Product.
According to him, “While this project intends to achieve this on one hand, it also seeks to encourage gender inclusion and celebrate diversity as a deliberate social intervention project.”
Elijah, also said the project was employed to close the gender gap in the hitherto male dominated automotive engineering sector in Nigeria by equipping socially vulnerable girls and young women with requisite technical skills and competences through empowering and training programmes.
Similarly, the Director General, National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Mr. Jelani Aliyu, stated that girls’ empowerment was key to economy development.
He observed that, the council was working with relevant stakeholders to ensure that Nigeria produces brand new vehicles at affordable prices.
He added that, in other countries, “certificate is not relevant in getting employed, rather the skills acquisition is required.”
He, however, advised that, Nigeria should look beyond the certificate of individuals, and focused on what they could offer in the practical terms and not what they studied in school.
Also speaking, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Auto Lady Synergy Company Limited, Mrs. Joyce Adams, said Girls Auto Squad (GAS) was conceived as an advocacy and empowerment programme for disadvantaged girls especially Internally Displaced Persons(IDP).
Adams, said the first phase of the project would reach 500 beneficiaries in Lagos and Abuja.
She disclosed that GAS was a direct response to the myriads of challenges facing young girls in urban centres, absence of educational support and extreme poverty.
According to her, “The beneficiaries would acquire the rudiments and relevant knowledge of running a mobile maintenance enterprise during the one-year course.
“They would receive ongoing mentorship and business management assistance to ensure that their enterprises are not only profitable but successful and sustainable.”