From Felix Ikem, Nsukka
In the face of growing youths unemployment, Igbo-Eze North Local Government Area of Enugu state has partnered with Saint Augustine’s Farms and Skills Foundation Acquisition Centre (SAFSAC) Ltd, a Nongovernmental Organization, NGO to train over five hundred youths in the council area.
The Executive Chairman of the local government, Hon. Ejike Itodo made this declaration at the weekend during the commissioning of milti-million naira skills acquisition centre by the council chairman in Onicha-Enugu in the council area.
According to the council chairman,
“the administration of Igbo-Eze North LG is people-oriented and would do everything within its limit to reduce the rising case of unemployment in the land. This is one of such programs to stem the tide of youths unemployment and its concomitant social vices.”
The chairman who was represented by the Secretary to the Local Government, Mr. Paul Odoh, however said that, ” SAFSAC has taken the bull by the horn. In view of this lofty project, the local government council will partner with the NGO to make the Skills acquisition centre a success.”
He enjoined the youths to seize the opportunity provided by the NGO to acquire skills for their own good and that of the society.
“I enjoin our youths to see this skills acquisition centre as an opportunity to acquire skills. You are free to come here to acquire skills to back yourself up for better future. If you are yet to get admission into higher institution, stop wasting your precious time. This centre is for,” he said.
The council chairman also lamented the high level of skills acquisition apathy of youths, pointing out that this will also increase high rate of crime and unemployment in the society.
Earlier in his remarks, the Founder of the NGO, Rev. Fr. Fabian Eke narrated the objective of the centre to include training the youths in various skills to fulfill their dream life.
“The skills centre is set up to address unemployment challenges which, to some extent, is attributable to lack of skills.
“We may not have all that it takes to equip one for a fulfilled life here, but it could serve as a stepping stone. We want to import skills to the cities. Only the fortunate will have access to learn a trade in the cities due to the current rising cost of living in Nigeria,” he said.
Enumerating the training areas, Fr. Eke said that, “for now we have facilities for tailoring, weaving, auto mechanics, autos electricians, wheel-balancing and alignment, vulcanizing, piggery, fishery, two tractors and intermediate baking.
“The following equipment support these training activities; 50 sowing machines, one electronic car lifter, Tyre changer, wheel balancing machine, Air-conditioning Automatic defilers, piggery demonstration farm, fish farm, 20KVA Solar powered energy as well as training complexes at Onitsha-Enugu and Nsukka.”
The priest however solicited for the financial support of well and good spirited individuals to fund the centre.
“On our own part, it is becoming increasingly difficult to cope with the cost of paying the trainers because the number of apprentices or trainees are too few to sustain the salaries of trainers. By sponsoring a youth to learn a trade for a token, you are supporting immensely in paying for the services of the trainers.”
The high point of the occasion was the commissioning of the centre by the Executive Chairman of Igbo-Eze North local area, Hon. Ejike Itodo.