From Obinna Odogwu, Awka
The National Directorate of Employment (NDE) has depleted, by 50, the number of unemployed graduates in Anambra State, who visit various offices daily in search of nonexistent white-collar jobs.
NDE, through its Small-Scale Enterprises Department, selected the graduates for special training in enterprise start-up, to equip them with professional and business skills, which would enhance their capacity to succeed in their chosen businesses.
Director-general of NDE, Mallam Abubakar Nuhu Fikpo, during the opening ceremony of the programme in Awka, the state capital, said the training was part of steps being taken by the directorate to reduce unemployment in the country.
Fikpo, represented by the deputy director of the South East zonal office of NDE, Mrs. Ifeoma Ezepue, said that, with the limited employment opportunities occasioned by the dwindling economy, entrepreneurship remains one of the best options available to young graduates.
She explained that the entire job creation activities of the directorate covered three broad categories, which are integrated, and the directorate would not relent in its efforts to take unemployed people off the streets.
“These are value reorientation, away from a culture of perpetual search for nonexistent or dwindling wage employment opportunities, skills acquisition training and resettlement, that is, provision of starter packs.
“Therefore, the concept of the Enterprise Start-Up and Development Training Scheme (ESDTS) is to offer business training to graduates of tertiary institutions desiring to take up self-employment by becoming young entrepreneurs,” Fikpo said.
Coordinator of NDE in the state, Mrs. Chika Ufelle, disclosed that the training would last five days. She said, at the training ground, the participants would be taught how to discover their potential as entrepreneurs and how to establish their own businesses.
She said the topics to be covered at the training ground would include how to manage, sustain and grow businesses; how to avoid business failure; and how to write a feasibility study report, among others.
The state coordinator lamented the difficulty being experienced by the directorate during the empowerment of the trained persons, saying lack of funds usually constrained the NDE from resettling trained persons through its various programmes.
“To this extent, the directorate took the initiative to enter into collaboration with some credit-granting institutions in order to expand the scope of its resettlement activities to accommodate more skilled unemployed persons.
“Some of the organisations the NDE has collaborated with in this regard include the Central Bank of Nigeria through the NIRSAL Micro Finance Bank (AGSMEIS Loan Scheme), Bank of Agriculture and National Economic Reconstruction Fund (NERFUND),” Ufelle said.
The coordinator further expressed the belief that, after the training, all the participants would acquire the knowledge and skills that would enable them succeed in their chosen enterprises, and help in growing the economy.