By Favour Nnabugwu
The Minister of transportation, Mr Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has said that the federal government is doing everything possible to reverse the unemployment rate in the country.
While he received in audience a delegation from Dudley College of Technology, United Kingdom in partnership with the Empowerment Support Initiative (ESI) at his residence in Abuja yesterday, said the rate of unemployment will soon reduce in the country.
“Let me first welcome you to Nigeria and say to you that the Government of Nigeria is doing everything possible to eradicate unemployment, we are creating jobs and engaging the youth at various levels of skills acquisition. We have improved on our railway transportation and you can imagine the number of youth that have been engaged in the project, same thing in other sectors.
“When I was a governor, I insisted on free education, because I believe that is the key,” he said.
Leader of the delegation, Chidi Obilor, Nigeria Team Leader, Dudley College of Technology UK, explained the institution’s partnership with ESI, stating how the program will benefit participants.
“We are sent as delegates of the Dudley Collage of Technology, United Kingdom, and her Excellency the founder of Empowerment Support Initiative, Dame Judith Amaechi presented a program where she wants to have skills acquisition exchange program with an establish recognize awarding Institution in the United Kingdom. Her main purpose is to train the next generation on professional crafts and provide the competent skill to be able to fit in the challenge of 24th century in construction engineering.
“Looking into her proposal she made emphasis and requested that she wants people from her region to be empowered. During the graduation ceremony we will find time to present all the details of her approach, especially her passion for the youth, women and less privileged.
“She presented the region where she is from that some of the youth are not able to carry out top finishing skill in the area of tailing, pop, bricklaying and the normal traditional construction site jobs, and for that reason the youth has been short changed in many projects taking place in Nigeria especially projects with new and complex infrastructure.
“The population here are not conceited and are qualified to carry out most of the major projects and therefore she will want to train the youth and give them certification. According to her, most of them are very intelligent and hardworking they have the skill but don’t have certificate to prove their competency in their areas.
“She also expressed desire to include a UK occupation standard qualification that will give the youth access to direct employment within and outside the country, so they are not limited by their environment. She is going to make sure she put in all her effort and with the support that she’s getting she will be able to achieve it.
“This is a four week program and we will not be able to achieve basic qualification with the national vocational qualification that is attached to their standard workshop and we need quality Assurance assessment so that we can get an approved centre for the awarding of this certification here in Nigeria, so with this programme we are moving to the second phase where we are going to set up a centre of excellence for life Skills development then we can have certification as an approved centre to award the certificate. We are concentrating on level 2 and 3 for now,” Obilor said.
Commenting, a member of the delegation from Dudley College said this is my first time in Nigeria. I am here for ESI program to teach electrical finishing skill to the students. I’m also here to impact some UK studies which I think will improve the way they do their job here in Nigeria.