One thousand Abia youths have been trained in garment making and information and communications technology (ICT) in the first phase of the National Industrial Skills Development Programme (NISDP), which commenced in 10 states including Abuja late last year.
The NISDP is a government initiative to quickly address the socio-economic problem of unemployment through massive skills acquisition.
It is also geared towards providing skills to support national industrial revolution plan (NIRP), turn the country’s quantitative advantage to productive advantage as well as develop highly skilled entrepreneurial workforce in arrears, where the country has competitive comparative advantages.
Longmas Wampmuk, director general/chief executive, Industrial Training Fund (ITF), in his address at the graduation ceremony, which took place in Aba, Abia State, urged the trainees to see the opportunity as a variable tool to their greatness.
Represented by Ben Ngwu, manager, Calabar Area office of ITF, Wampmuk advised the trainees to set up micro, small and medium enterprises that would serve as engine room for Nigerian economic and industrial development.
Advising them further, the ITF boss said, “Follow your passion, believe in yourself and stay true to yourself, never follow someone else’s path unless you are in the woods and you are lost and you see a path then by all means you should follow that.”
Governor Theodore Orji in his speech observed that the graduation of the first batch of trainees “constitutes a logical follow-up in realising the state’s goals of poverty reduction and job creation.”
Orji, who was represented by Akujobi Nkoro, commissioner for youth development, stated that government had initiated a number of programmes aimed at providing the unemployed youth with skills to either find paid employment or become self-employed.
He explained that NISDP and some other empowerment programmes such as, YouWin, SURE-P, all demonstrate government’s commitment to transform the economy to a technology-driven and production-based economy.
He commended the efforts of the ITF, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency and the Bank of Industry, in deploying all necessary human and other resources at their disposal to ensure that the first phase of the programme was successfully implemented.
GODFREY OFURUM, Aba