Joe Effiong, Uyo
A whopping N10 million is required by the University of Uyo to equip 22 youths from its host communities recently trained on different skills acquisition as part of its corporate social responsibility.
The 22 youths said to have been drawn from a selection process determined by the village heads and youth leaders of all the host communities, were trained between six months and one year on catering, plumbing, electrical installation, fashion design, welding, and fabrication.
The Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Enefiok Essien, said during graduation of the training programme, that the essence of the scheme was to reduce unemployment and make the youths self-reliant.
Essien said the university-funded training was supervised by the Community Relations Office in the Office of the Vice Chancellor and the State Director of National Directorate of Employment (NDE).
Prof Essien who stated that N10, 000,000 was required to empower the beneficiaries with the necessary tools needed for them to set up their businesses, called on the federal and state governments and other public spirited individuals in the state to support them.
Reasoning that there would be no meaningful development and growth in the university and the nation in general without a peaceful academic and political environment, the V-C urged the host communities to support the university in fighting off encroachment on the institution’s land.
“The Univeristy was responsible for all the funding required for the training, including monthly transport allowance to the trainees throughout the period.
“The next phase is to empower the trainees to establish their businesses and be on their own. The trainees have submitted the list of basic required tools and equipment with estimated cost based on the current market prices.
“The estimated cost for the tools and equipment is about N10, 000,000 (Ten million naira only) for the twenty-two trainees. We therefore appeal to the Federal Government through NDE, the State Government and other prominent members of the host communities and the state to assist in this direction.
“Let me use this opportunity to thank the chiefs and the vast majority of youths of the host communities for their support to check human encroachment on the university land.” He said.
Some of the beneficiaries commended the university for the training, saying it has empowered them to be independent and to fend for themselves.
Paul Philip who was trained on welding and fabrication said, “I am happy I was selected for the training. I spent one year to be trained on welding and fabrication, and I hope the university will support us with tools to start our own businesses,” he said.