From: TONY JOHN, Port Harcourt
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State says his administration was committed to ensuring that youths in the state were trained to become entrepreneurs and employers of labour, rather than engaging in negative tendencies that would portray them and the State in bad light.
Governor Wike stated this, on Tuesday, while speaking at the opening ceremony of the Port Harcourt Technical and Vocational Centre (PHTVC), at the Port Harcourt Primary School, Old GRA Port Harcourt.
Represented by his Deputy, Dr. (Mrs.) Ipalibo Harry Banigo, Wike posited that Rivers youths were energetic and courageous, stressing that if they are properly trained and supported, they would have the capacity to contribute to the development of the State.
Governor Wike noted that the establishment of the Centre was in fulfillment of his administration’s campaign promises to re-introduce vocational education in the State to enable youths acquire skills that would make them employable.
He said the State Government would continue to collaborate with its German partners-The Central Agency for Continuing Vocational Education and Training, (ZWH) in skilled crafts, to ensure the realisation of the Project.
The governor advised the newly admitted students of the Centre to take their studies and other instructions that would be given to them seriously, so that the huge investment in the place would not be a wasteful venture.
Also speaking, the Commissioner for Education, Prof. Kaniye Ebeku, stated that the opening of the Port Harcourt Technical and Vocational Centre, marked a turning point in the history of technical and vocational education development of the State, which was key to the production of goods and services.
Prof. Ebeku said youths would be trained in various vocations and skills to enable them become self-reliant, create employment for others and reduce youth involvement in militancy, cultism and other clandestine activities.
In his speech, the Special Adviser to the State Governor on Technical/Vocational Education, Prof. Israel Owate, said the Port Harcourt Technical and Vocational Centre was a testimony of Governor Wike’s passion to resuscitate, restructure and reposition technical and vocational education in the State.
Prof. Owate noted that the Port Harcourt Technical and Vocational Centre, which is first of its kind in Nigeria, has the potential to promote the economic empowerment, employment generation as well as the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, in the State.
Earlier, the Head of Port Harcourt Technical and Vocational Centre, Mr. Theimer Uwe, described vocational education as a powerful instrument for youths to achieve success in life and commended Governor Wike for recognising the benefits derivable from the training of young people.
The event, which featured the presentation of 120 admitted students, was attended by dignitaries from various walks of life including the German Consul General in Nigeria, Mr. Ingo Herbert, members of the State Executive Council, top government functionaries and captains of industry.