•Holds skills acquisition programme for youths
By Steve Agbota
Indigenes of Nnokwa community, Anambra State resident in Lagos, have embarked on a project aimed at teaching youths from the community how to conquer unemployment.
The indigenes are training students in secondary school and university in different skills. The vocations include computer software and hardware programming, computer downloading and uploading, graphics design, bead-making, soap making, fashion designing, cake making and confectionery, catering, baking and make-up artistry.
At its recent empowerment programme held at Ejigbo, Lagos, the community identified the need for youths to acquire certain skills to enable them to excel in life and become employers of labour. They noted that skill acquisition by youths would solve Nigeria’s economic crisis.
Members of the Nnokwa Progressive Union (NPU) urged government to start prioritising the development of skill acquisition schemes among the youths in the country for the sake of growing the nation’s economy.
The union said that investing in the development of skill acquisition schemes among the youth at a young age would go a long way in addressing unemployment in the country.
Speaking during the 8th NPU Youth Forum 2017 with the theme: ‘Skill Acquisition as a tool for Empowering our Youths for Nation Building,’ the Chairman, NPU Lagos branch, Prince Charles Ezeagwu announced that the union has systematically re-channelled the energy of its teeming youths into constructive uses. This, he said, would add value to the Gross Domestic Products (GDP) of the nation’s economy.
He added: “Rather than allow our youths to become liabilities to the society at large, we also provide mentorship programmes for them. We provide skill training for them in various fields. Through the skill acquisition, we make them small-scale industrialists at a very young age. We catch them young and train them in multiple fields, so they know and appreciate the importance of hard work and the returns that flows in from such hard work from multiple sources of income.”
According to him, after providing the needed training to the youth, NPU would select those that showed keen interest in the training and facilitate their loan from the Bank of Industry (BoI).
Ezeagwu said: “Over the years, NPU, Lagos, through this youth forum and mentorship, has produced young entrepreneurs whom we believe would be our Aliko Dangote, Bill Gate and Mark Zukerberg of Facebook in the years to come.”
Earlier, the Chairman, Education Committee of the union, Reverend Festus Abone informed that the theme for the forum has been running for the past three years. He noted that 2017 is the grand finale.
“We, as parents, thank God who has given us resources to train you through all your schools. All of you can agree with me that the economic terrain is tougher now. So it is only the strong that can survive and we believe that one of the ways to make sure you survive is to make sure you acquire other skills apart from your formal education, which you have gone to the university or polytechnic to acquire. That is why we want to make sure that you learnt one or two skills,” he said.
Professor P.A.C Okoye of the Department of Pure Industrial Chemistry, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, commended the sponsors of the programme. He said the continuity of the programme would better the future of Nnokwa.
“That is why when I see children seeking admission to the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, I make sure that the child gets admitted, so that Nnokwa can grow. The theme of this year’s forum: “Skill acquisition as a tool for nation building”, is highly provoking especially in this period that our country is embattled with economy turmoil” he said.
Also, Mrs. Aminat Audu from National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) urged the youths to start a business before they finish their university education. That, she noted, would make them self-reliant.
She urged them to start saving from their pocket money so that when they graduate they would have saved enough money to start a business of their choice.
The Managing Director of Cowry Securities Limited, Nkoli Edoka also urged the youths to start small, citing the examples of Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Chief Innocent Chukwuma of Innoson Vehicles Mabufacturing and Cosmos Maduka of Coscharis as those who started small and now are one of the richest persons in the country today.
She advised the youths to start a skill and know the skill very well, reiterating that academic training is not a sufficient source of developing professional skill.