Kemi Olaitan in Ibadan
The Vice-Chancellor, First Technical University (Tech-U), Ibadan, Prof. Ayobami Salami has expressed the institution’s readiness to help the country frontally tackle the scourge of unemployment through its Centre for Technical, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training (TVET).
He said the university holds the conviction that a truly productive nation must necessarily be pivoted on sustained and strategic investment in human capital development.
Salami said this at the closing ceremony of a two-week intensive youth empowerment programme in poultry and fisheries for 154 youths from the Niger Delta region, held at the university, sponsored by the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and facilitated by the TVET, in conjunction with Dosmark CJ and Oil Investment Limited.
He said the programme, in addition to the other unique offerings, is anchored on the innovative model of education, which the university is known for, adding that “as a socially responsive corporate entity, reflects our avowed commitment to making Nigeria work by getting her young people empowered for wealth creation.
“As implemented by the university’s Centre for 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.”
He stressed that since the commencement of the initiative, not less than 350 youths have been trained in diverse skills and the target is to have at least 1,000 beneficiaries trained 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.
“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, he said.
The VC therefore congratulated the154 beneficiaries from the Niger Delta region, who are the latest addition to the 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.”
The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Usain Uguru Usain said the federal government is determined to put a stop to the restiveness in the region through the empowerment of youths in the area.
Usain, who was represented by the Director, Economic Empowerment Directorate in the ministry, Mr. Ibrahim Akanya, also said 1,000 youths from the area will be empowered this year.
He said the empowerment for the youths is key to stopping restiveness so as to make the region economically viable, adding that trainings were being held simultaneously in Benin, Asaba and at the Polytechnic, Ibadan.
“The federal government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari will continue to do everything possible most especially through empowerment to engage the youths in the Niger Delta region to keep them busy in order to bring meaningful development to the area and end the restiveness there.”
While charging the beneficiaries to effectively utilise the skills acquired from the two-week programme, the minister disclosed that returnees from Libya were included in the training so as to re-integrate them into the society.
He also urged the participants to judiciously use the grant given to them and not use it lavishly, adding that N200 million was earmarked for the training of the youths.