From Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
No fewer than 30,000 secondary school students in Nigeria have been trained in entrepreneurship and technical training programmes by a German International Development Agency, GIZ through its Student Entrepreneurship Activity Hub (SEA-Hub).
The beneficiary students were drawn from 350 secondary schools spread across 11 states in Nigeria and Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The Head of Programme, GIZ SEDIN, Mr Markus Wauschkuhn, who disclosed this in a remark at the opening of the Ogun State SEA-Hub Exhibition and Competition 2022 held in Abeokuta, the state capital, listed the beneficiary states to include Ogun; Plateau; Edo; Lagos; Yobe; Kaduna; Delta; Imo; Osun; Oyo and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
According to him, 6,350 students in 95 schools in Ogun State, have benefitted from the programme, adding that, the training programme was designed to equip secondary school students with entrepreneurship and technical skills for economic sustainability.
Wauschkuhn disclosed that, the training which started in 2016, has led to the creation of over 45 different innovative mini businesses and products by the beneficiaries.
He noted that, the programme was aimed at reducing the unemployment in the country by equipping secondary school students with the right skills which will prepare them for a secure future.
“For young people, it is difficult to find full and productive employment and decent work.
“To harness and turn the growing youth unemployed population in the country into an asset, we need an urgent focus on economic activities that can thrive and yield demographic dividends for the nation.
“SEA-Hub was therefore borne out of the need to improve skills and prepare young people for a secure future.
“By catching them young, the SEA-Hub project is equipping secondary school students with entrepreneurship training in a way that develops their skills to be agile, sustainable and transferable in ever-changing environments and situations.
“In Ogun state alone, SEA-Hub has reached over 6,350 students in 95 schools and across 15 Local government areas.
“Leveraging on funding from the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), almost 30,000 students (60 percent girls) have been empowered through SEA-Hub in Edo, Niger, Lagos, Plateau and of course, the Gateway state.
“The German government’s commitment to the economic development of Nigerians serves as a catalyst for several initiatives and programmes and one of such is the SEA-Hub competition we are all here for today.
“This competition serves as an opportunity for young people to be part of nation building and begin to reimagine the future they deserve.
“Specifically, the competition is expected to create sustainability for SEA-Hub students and to provide recognition to these young people and their schools for their effort and creativity.” Wauschkuhn stated.
Speaking at the event, Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, commended GIZ for the programme, which he said, has given hope to the future of the state and Nigeria.
Abiodun, who was represented by the Special Adviser, Technical and Vocational Education Development, Prof Sunday Odemuyiwa, said “when we talk about education, it must be one of that can give food on the table of the learners”.
The governor said with the programme like this, students in Ogun State schools, cannot leave schools and become area boys or street girls but become skillful person.
He promised that the government, would not relent in efforts to promote entrepreneurship skills in youths to engage them in meaningful projects and programmes
At the end of the competition and exhibition, Community Secondary School, Ipokia in Ipokia Local Government, emerged winners, while Abusi Edumare Academy , Ijebu Igbo in Ijebu North Local Government and Comprehensive High School, Ayetoro, in Yewa North Local Government, emerged first and second runner up respectively.