By Dayo Adesulu
Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, yesterday, vowed to deepen the existing partnership between the National Youth Service Corps(NYSC) and the state government on skill acquisition and entrepreneurship development.
Sanwo-Olu who spoke during the opening ceremony of the 2019 Batch ‘B’ pre-orientation workshop, with theme, ‘Reinvigorating the NYSC Orientation Course for a Successful Service Years’, held at the Event Centre, Alausa, Ikeja said: ”Self reliance is key’.”
According to him, the state has a lot of skill acquisition centres where the scheme could key into, adding that Corps members should also understand that skills acquisition is imperative, considering the prevailing circumstances in our country.
The governor who was represented by his deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat recalled the success story of when the state government was building the Lekki/Ikoyi link bridge, using technical graduates.
He said contractors were at that time seeking to employ 700 welders for the project but couldn’t find any.
His said: “In trying to build the suspended bridge, the contractor in-charge said they needed 700 welders but they could not find , so they said they would go outside Nigeria to look for welders because they said certain skills were needed, but we refused. So at our skill acquisition centre in Igando, we decided to train the 700 welders who were part of the people that finished the project.”
He disclosed that the state government delayed the completion of the bridge by six months just to get indigenous welders for the job.
”Interestingly, when the welders finished, they were employed by oil companies such as Chevron and Shell and they are making a salary between N800,000 and one million a month. However, there are many more grounds to cover and break in the realization of a more developed and greater Nigeria through youth reorientation and empowerment both in entrepreneurial and leadership skills that is needed in Nigeria. Skills acquisition if well done, is fantastic,”[ he said.
Speaking the same vein, the Director General, Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim said the workshop is designed for NYSC managers and its collaborating partners to review previous orientation courses with a view to tackling identified challenges and mapping out new strategies for successful conduct of the forthcoming one .
He explained that the theme was informed by its desire to sustain proper induction and preparation of eligible graduates for dedicated and hitch-free service to their fatherland.
He used the occasion to remind stakeholders about the NYSC Act for the provision and maintenance of orientation camps on state governments , saying that the reminder has become necessary in view of the current dilapidated condition of many orientation camps and the inadequate facilities across the country.