Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri
The Imo State government has commenced a three-day skills acquisition training workshop for 1,610 unemployed youths in the state in areas such as fishery, ICT and cosmetics.
According to the Imo State Commissioner for Skills Acquisitions and Entrepreneurship, Noble Atulegwu, who spoke at the opening ceremony of the workshop, the training has become necessary following the promise of Governor Hope Uzodinma to reduce unemployment in the state.
He pointed out that the training tagged ‘Empowering Imo Youths for Greater Future’, in partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigeria Incentive Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), will provide an opportunity to apply for loans from the CBN at the end of the programme.
The training, according to Atulegwu, is the brainchild of the governor in his desire to ‘share prosperity to the state.
‘Democracy is the government of the people, for the people and by the people. This definition of democracy is best suited in Governor Hope Uzodinma’s desire to bring hope and development at the doorsteps of the masses,’ the commissioner stated.
He continued: ‘We are aware of the global pandemic ravaging the world today and we must be grateful to God for keeping us alive despite all odds. As this administration has fully come on board with our three (3RS) mantra of Recovery, Reconstruction and Rehabilitation, we have no doubt of this divine call and urge all to utilize the opportunity provided to tap into the window of the shared prosperity.
‘Most countries of the world have been experiencing rising trends of unemployment. The world economic recession as evidenced in job losses, decreasing industrial capacity utilization, dilapidating infrastructures, as well as the most recent global calamity, (COVID-19), have given rise to prevailing threats to human security.
‘The seriousness of these problems, especially in developing countries, makes it mandatory that nations should retool their development strategies with a focus on skills development and entrepreneurial education for sustainable development.
‘Unemployment, which is most common among our youths, especially school leavers, is mainly due to lack of entrepreneurial skills and attitudes in Nigeria, the lack of employment has led our youths into armed robbery, kidnapping, vandalism, ritual killings, Boko haram insurgency, banditry and other social vices. Therefore, vocational/technical and entrepreneurship skills development is a desideratum drive national economies.
‘This workshop is timely for those of you that want to start their own businesses as well as those interested in turning their fledging enterprises into a successful story,’ Atulegwu stated.