The Deutche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), a German government’s skills development programme for youths has invested $28 million for youth empowerment across Nigeria.
This was disclosed by Tobias Wolfgarten advisor for Vocational Education and Training GIZ Nigeria at the graduation ceremony of the first batch of the beneficiaries of the GIZ empowerment program in partnership with the Field of Skills and Dreams academy (FSD).
He stated that GIZ project aims at equipping youths with skills and abilities that enable them get employed in the labour market. He added that the empowerment program is also targeted at growing the agriculture and construction sector.
Tobias said “$28 million dollars has been set aside for 50 thousand Nigerian youths across the country over a 4 year period. While in Lagos, the focus is more on construction, work is presently on-going in Ogun state, and plans are been implemented to replicate the action in Edo and Kaduna where the focus will be more on agriculture”.
He said GIZ partnership with FSD is the first collaboration which has produced the first batch of beneficiaries he added that going forward by the 2nd half of the year, there will be more batches and collaborations with other private partners including Dangote Academy which will offer more courses adding that the different courses will span for different durations like 3 months, 6 months, 12 months depending on the course.
Omowale Ogunrinde, executive director of the Field of Skills and Dreams academy (FSD) disclosed that the empowerment program in partnership with GIZ has equipped 300 beneficiaries in the first batch of its program adding that FSD which started officially in 2005 has trained over 10 thousand people in Nigeria.
Ogunrinde disclosed that the training which spanned for three months started with the screening of 598 applicants, in which 302 applicants were accepted and started the training program, although only 300 people were trained and 295 were able to graduate.
She said “ most of the trainings are practical based after which the students were examined by an external body which grants them valid and qualified positions so they learn, access and become certified to practise what they learn”
She further disclosed that FSD has worked in states across Nigeria while partnering with other international organizations including the United States consulate
Folusho Samuel, deputy director at Industrial Training Fund, Nigeria who was the guest speaker commended the institute and GIZ, speaking to the beneficiaries, she commended their zeal to work and advised that there is need to further develop themselves on the skill they have learnt. She also stated that extra efforts in their work will attract progress and success.
Bolaji Shotunde, a private company partner advised the beneficiaries to concentrate on being successful and also work on developing all the skills acquired. He also said that regardless of challenges encountered, their knowledge and value cannot depreciate.
Adebowale Femi, one of the beneficiaries who is a microbiologist appreciated the organizers and sponsors of the training program as the training has impacted his life positively.
GIZ is an organization owned by the German government that implements development projects on behalf of the government and other donors like the European Union across the world, working in over 30 countries with staff strength of 20 thousand including citizens of partner countries in Nigeria there are 350 employees. In GIZ Nigeria working on various projects including the development of Micro Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs), vocational training, microfinance development, market development and many other projects.