From Emmanuel Adeyemi, Lokoja
The Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development over the weekend trained 99 Nigerian youths drawn across 18 states of the federation.
The training which held at the metallurgical training centre of the Ajaokuta- steel company Kogi State and tagged technical capacity building in the Metal sector was mainly on Welding and Fabrication, Metal Machining, Foundry and Pattern Technologies.
The Minister of State, Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Uche Ogar who was represented by Mr Patrick Ojeka, the Director of Artisanal Skills and Miners said the training was organised by the Ministry under the utilization of Steel Development Fund to build skills in youths so as to be self reliant
Ogah noted that the Federal Government’s diversification policy was aimed at diversifying the economy from reliance on the Oil and Gas Industry to Agriculture and Mining as the major areas of focus.
He stressed that although the Iron & Steel industry is still at an infant stage in Nigeria, it remains the bedrock of industrialization of any country and the most important input material for Industrial development.
”It is a great pleasure for me to be here to address you on your completion of weeks of intensive training on Welding & Fabrication, Metal Machining, and Foundry and Pattern Technologies.
”Your selection and participation at the training was specially designed to equip you with the knowledge and capacity to contribute to the development of the Iron and Steel Industry in Nigeria in your various States.
”I, therefore urge you to utilize and maintain the small-token of the empowerment package that the Ministry has provided for your industrial take- off”, he said.
Earlier, Mr Saliu Yahaya, the Head of MTC, ASCL, described Technical Capacity Building as a skill development programme designed for sustainable and guaranteed path for self employment to reduce rising wave of unemployment in Nigeria.
Yahaya explained that a total of 99 trainees had successfully participated and completed the training programme for award of Certificate and empowerment kits which they could start life with.
According to him, 59 trainees graduated under Welding and Fabrication, 22 under Metal Machining, and 18 trainees in Foundry & Pattern Making.
He enjoined the trainees to maximise the benefits the opportunity offered, keep their spirit high, and leave the training centre as better improved and value skilled men.
In his vote of thanks, the Ministry’s Director of Steel and Non Ferrous Metals, Mr Olasupo Kolawole, praised the Almighty God for making the occasion historical and a landmark success for the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development and the metals sub-sector.
He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his doggedness in ensuring millions of Nigerian youths were provided with enabling environment, requisite tools and technical skills to maximally realize their creative and productive potentials.
He congratulated the trainees for been part of the maiden edition of the capacity building training of the ministry, saying ”you are now part of the national change agents”.
”I, therefore implore you to make maximum use of the set tools given.
”It might interest you that there will be post training sustainability plan that will ensure these tools are put into good use by you all”.
Mr Ihechukwu Wisdom, the Trainee President, who spoke on behalf of all the trainees, , thanked the Federal Government and all other stakeholders for their commitments in making the maiden technical capacity training a success.
He thanked President Muhammadu and the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, for giving them the opportunity to be part of the first batch of beneficiaries from the training at ASCL.
Wisdom, however appealed to the FG to urgently fix ASCL in order to reduce unemployment and boost the Nigeria’s economy, sustain the capacity building program, and provide credit facilities for trainees to limit financial constraints.
He further called for empowerment and retraining of trainees, commence the local and international training of youths to work in ASCL, and assent the already passed Nigerian Steel University bill.
The trainees later received Certificates and Starter Pack each, to start their business and to continue practising in their areas of specialization.