NDE builds 126 skills acquisition centres in eight years



• Masari decries youth unemployment
THE National Directorate of Employment (NDE) has built 126 skills acquisition centres across the country since 2007 in its bid to boost the standard of its training programmes.

The Director General of the Directorate, Abubakar Mohammed, who disclosed this when he paid a courtesy visit to the Governor of Katsina State, Aminu Masari, explained that his mission since assumption of office in 2007 as the Director General was to instill high standard of competencies in the trainees by taking over the training processes.

The NDE helmsman added: “I wish to inform that since 2007 when I came in as Director General, the Directorate whose major tool for generation of mass employment opportunities is skills acquisition training had no skills acquisition centre of its own. Today, in addition to our regular training programmes and schemes, the NDE has 74 vocational skills acquisition centres fully equipped with modern tools and equipment for training technicians/artisans; 28 agricultural skills training centres; 20 common facilities centres; two agricultural parks and two specialized skills centres.”

The NDE boss, who also in Sabuwa for the pre-commissioning inspection of the NDE Agricultural park, said the park, upon completion will serve as a training hub for stakeholders in the agricultural sector.

The NDE Agricultural Park as an all-inclusive agricultural business, provides solutions to barriers to successful agricultural-entrepreneurship, promote farm extension services to beneficiaries communities, drives agricultural technology adoption and adaptation, value addition and commercialization of products of research and development. As a matter of fact, the whole gamut of it is designed to strategically key into the Federal Government’s commitment to developing agriculture as a business and in the process providing decent job opportunities to the teeming unemployed youths.

Beneficiaries of the park which include graduates of tertiary institutions will undergo hand-on-training in poultry management, aquaculture (hatchery and grow out) poultry, fish ration formulation, export grade smoked fish production, crop cultivation, green house and irrigation techniques, processing and packaging techniques, along side mentorship civic responsibility and life skills training,” he explained.

While noting that the task of employment generation is a multi-sectoral endeavor that requires active collaboration of all relevant agencies, Abubakar urged the Katsina state government to use the NDE skills acquisition in the state to provide basic apprenticeship while state-owned Craft villages be upgraded to provide advanced apprenticeship for those wishing to acquire high proficiency and competencies.

In his response, the Katsina state governor, Masari lauded NDE for recording massive impact in the state, saying, “with the kind of training programmes the NDE has across the state, we believe the Directorate is in complete partnership with the state in terms of addressing youth unemployment, which lead to restiveness and other forms of criminalities.”The governor noted that with youths contributing more than 70% of those directly serving in the raging Boko Haram insurgencies’ frontline suggests there is urgent need to curb youth unemployment through skills acquisition and vocational training.

His words: “We are not talking about employment in terms of paid worker at the federal, state or local government level. Our understanding of employment is for anybody to be productive enough to earn a living to take care of his needs and that of his immediate family. Vocational and skills acquisition centres are today the most obvious practical option in addressing youth unemployment especially in state like Katsina where we are witnessing massive dropouts before or after secondary school.”

He hinted that the state government is presently carrying out an audit of its skills acquisition centres out of which eight have been abandoned.

He revealed that government is in the process of acquiring necessary equipment and employ skills instructors in order to put the centres back to work.

We really believe that the middle manpower that will come out of these centres must be encouraged if we are desirous of creating value for products that are likely to come out of small and medium scale industries as we move into agricultural production and solid minerals prospecting because over-dependent on one commodity can put the entire country at economic risk.

If we are planning how to add value to agricultural produce and solid minerals that could be found within our reach, the need to train technicians that would provide the backbone for this initiative cannot be over-emphasized. Now is an opportunity to engage our youths in meaningful activities that would take away their minds and energies from criminalities especially at this time of change mantra of the Federal Government, he stated.

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