By Oghenefego Obaebor
THE Vocational and Professional Development Academy, VPDA, has boosted vocational education of students, as it launched Building One Academy in Lagos.
Speaking during the official opening of the pilot centre in Yaba, the VPDA founder, Dr (Mrs.) Ekua Abudu, a seasoned educationist and proprietress of Greenwood House Schools, Lagos, said it was founded on the premise of leading the delivery of vocational examination and to offer first class training opportunities in the trades and related sectors.
She said: “The vision is for VPDA to be the premier institution for vocational training and professional development in Nigeria,” adding that the vision arose from her observation of the glaring need for internationally standardized training in the vocational sector.
According to her, the plan was to start with Yaba as a pilot centre and then establish more centres across Nigeria and West Africa. She said that in the first phase, they will be offering courses in film production, ICT, customer service, call centre operation and food hygiene and safety. They will also engage the private sector through provision of excellent training facilities to benefit their staff.
“VPDA will from next year, offer a diverse range of skills training including plumbing, electrical works, plastering, brick-laying, carpentry, etc. We will also look to establish distant learning programme with international training providers in the near future. This soft opening is a celebration of the completion of the first phase of our development and it was made possible by the support of Custodian Social Responsibility Foundation. The Group MD, Mr. Wole Oshin, Director of the Foundation, Mrs. Mimi Ade Odiachi, Mr. Ibrahim Dikko and CEO of the Foundation, Mrs. Olubunmi Aderemi have been committed supporters of the Academy. Our partnership with Custodian is demonstrative of a mutual commitment to the development of the Yaba local community. We are certain that this is the start of a long and successful partnership,” she said.
A woman of many parts, she is the chairman of the board of trustees IDAN (Interior Designers Association of Nigeria), a trustee and past president of the Association of International School Educations of Nigeria (AISEN); Trustee and past president of International Women’s Society (IWS).and current country coordinator of the Olave Baden Powell Society (OBPS) which founded the Boys scouts and funds Girls guides worldwide. She was recently awarded a degree of Honorary Doctor of Philosophy in Education Management by the State University of New York.
The day-to-day running of management of the Academy will be handled by the Chief Executive Officer; Mr. Harvey Smith. Mr. Smith has over 34 years experience in education and training. Most recently, he designed and managed the Shell LNG Bonny Vocational centre in Bonny Rivers State. He will oversee the academy in all aspects of operations to ensure that standards are maintained.
VPDA is also supported by a distinguished Board of Trustee. Our trustee come from diverse sectors of the economy and their experience and network will prove invaluable to the success of VPDA.