To ensure that efforts of the Federal Government to empower youths of the Niger Delta region through its various skills acquisition schemes, graduates of such schemes have been urged to put the skills acquired to good use as they are vital to the development of the region and the country.
Professor Claudius Omoleye Daramola, Honourable Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs said this on Friday at the graduation ceremony of fifty non- militant youths in artisan/skills acquisition training in the housing sector at Joseph Ayo Babalola University,JABU, Ikeji Osun State, where he stated that the training was proof of the present administration’s resolve to use the development of human capital to address unemployment as well as ensuring peace and security in the region.
The Minister of State said that the decision to embark on the skills acquisition schemes was necessitated by the realization that they not only positively impact the lives of participants, the society also benefits from their multiplier effects.
He informed the graduands of the four weeks training programme that they would be financially empowered to start their businesses and that the Ministry would monitor them to ensure that the resources are put to good use.
Daramola also disclosed that the decision to partner the University in building the capacity of the youths was based on its being the pioneer training institution on entrepreneurship in the country, while commending it for contributing to the development of the Niger Delta region.
He advocated more collaboration with the institution on establishing how best to empower the graduates and those who have been trained previously to ensure ‘the various investments in them yield the desired goal of engineering the region’s economic growth and development.
In his remarks, Professor Sola Fajana, the Vice Chancellor of Joseph Ayo Babalola University, commended the Federal Government for the programme as the present era is that ‘of service, skills acquisition, vocational training, in addition to formal education as it will never be complete if one learns in the classroom but has not practiced’. He reiterated that the practical aspect was pertinent in the application of the knowledge acquired.
The Vice Chancellor expressed his institution’s willingness to collaborate with the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs on the training of more youths of the the Niger Delta region ‘ in the spirit of making the nation’s teeming youths become better for tomorrow’s challenge’.
Pastor John Babalola, who represented Barrister Olabisi Adewale Aderibigbe, the Registrar of the Institution, commended the graduates on their dedication to the training, expressed his conviction that they would use skills learnt during the programme to become self-reliant. He urged them to be committed and passionate about whatever business venture for it to be successful.
Miss Akinnagbe Olayinka, one of the trainees to get it who spoke on behalf of the beneficiaries thanked the Federal Government for the dedication to the betterment of Niger Deltans through the programme as well as empowering them with finance, which she stressed as one of the important prerequisites to establish and own their businesses.
She added that government’s recognition of ‘the need to develop and empower youths of the region truly strikes the right chord in the heart of all truly patriotic Niger Deltans and earn our beloved region and Nigeria as a whole, enormous respect and honour. Akinnagbe also appreciated the institution for making their four weeks stay educative and enjoyable.
One of the beneficiaries, Mr. Olajerinde Festus, who trained in Landscaping, said that skills and knowledge acquired will enable him be self-reliant and useful to the society. He thanked the Federal Government for the initiative and pleaded that the financial backing should be increased for subsequent trainees, due to the economic hardship in the country.
He encouraged youths from the region to key into the programme as it is highly beneficial.