Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja
The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has commenced the training for 1,000 youths from Yobe State, focusing on GSM phone repairs, hardware, software, and entrepreneurship development.
According to the company, the training was part of NCDMB’s Youth Empowerment Programme for the North East and was designed to train and empower youths in high impact economic sectors such as ICT, Agriculture and construction.
It is being conducted in partnership with the National Information Technology Agency (NITDA) and the learning centres will be located at the Federal University, Gashua, Yobe State; Federal Polytechnic, Damaturu, Yobe State; Atiku Abubakar College of Legal Studies, Nguru, Yobe State and the Federal College of Education, Potiskum, Yobe State.
During the opening ceremony of the programme, Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, who formally declared the training open, described it as a landmark effort in the federal government’s commitment to uplift the wellbeing of youths who constitute key part of the nation’s population.
He noted that GSM devices are growing in sophistication as important communication tools, just as users are multiplying by the day, such that any person that is skilled in repairs will have continuous patronage.
He canvassed for increased budgetary allocation for the youth population and creative engagement, to enable them contribute meaningfully to the economy and stay away from crime, which is often the result of idleness.
Lawan also praised the synergy between NCDMB and NITDA in jointly organising the training, assuring that the senate would continue to provide legislative impetus for collaborations amongst government agencies in the delivery of their mandate.
In his welcome address, the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Mr. Simbi Wabote explained that the board is charged with developing local talents, facilities and assets that support the oil and gas operations.
He added that the board had realised that the oil industry was incapable of absorbing all local talents even at peak capacity, hence the conceptualisation of strategic youth empowerment programme.
He said the GSM programme would entail classroom phase, software and hardware modules, entrepreneurship development phase where trainees will benefit from starter packs and renting and furnishing of shops for apprenticeship and market linkage opportunities.
“The board would also sponsor mentorship and business development support to facilitate participant’s entry into the business world as SMEs and payment of stipends during the training, apprenticeship and mentorship phases” he said.
Wabote assured that the model had worked effectively in previous trainings sponsored by the board.
On why the board decided on GSM training, Wabote stated that since the GSM revolution in 2001, the ICT sector had evolved as a major contributor to employment, wealth creation, technology development and innovation.
“ The ICT sector has grown its contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from about three percent in 2001 to 11 percent in 2019” he noted.
He also hinted that the event further amplifies Nigerian content outreach to Nigerians irrespective of state of origin or residence.
He further called on youths from the North East with qualification relevant to the oil and gas industry to register on the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Joint Qualification System (NOGICJQS), to stand a chance of being selected for training and employment opportunities.
In his goodwill message at occasion, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, stated that the training and empowerment programme falls within the ministry’s priority areas of contributing to President Muhammadu Buhari’s aspiration to free 100 million Nigerians from poverty by 2030.