Skills development key to bridging unemployment gap
To stem the unemployment tide in Nigeria, operators in the private sector have identified the need to increase investment in various skills acquisition programmes that will aid youth empowerment and economic growth.
The programme, which cuts across a wide range of vocational skills such as plumbing, masonry, welding, iron bending, auto mechanics and electrical works, marked the successful completion of the first batch of trainees.
In line with this call, no less than 200 youths from Ibeju-Lekki community in Lagos State, have graduated from various skills acquisition programme, as a way of transforming society, and providing employment opportunities for the youths.
The programme, organised by Dangote Petroleum Refinery and facilitated by the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), attracted encomiums as traditional rules and community leaders lauded the initiative.
Addressing the graduates, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State promised to employ the 200 youths, who graduated from various skill acquisition in the Lekki Free Trade Zone (LFTZ).
Sanwo-Olu represented by the Managing Director of Lekki Free Trade Zone Worldwide, Dr Tunde Sodade, commended Dangote Group for the vocational training, adding that the skills would give the youths the much-needed platform to be productive and self-employed.
He urged the beneficiaries to put to judicious use the skills acquired, as they are now the beacon of light to other youths in the community.
The Lagos State Coordinator, NDE, Serena Edward, commended the Dangote Group for improving the social standards of the youths.
She said the initiative is also part of the Directorate’s mission to design and implement job creation programmes that will promote attitudinal change, employment generation, reduce poverty and enhance wealth generation
In his remarks, Executive Director, Strategy, Capital Projects and Portfolio Development, Dangote Group, Devakumar Edwin, said the initiative was a demonstration of Dangote Refinery’s commitment toward capacity-building and youth empowerment in Nigeria.
Edwin said the programme was another level intervention targeted at providing vocational skills to the teeming youth population in its host communities and also to make youth from its host communities employable.
He said the scheme comes at a time where the country is going through a phase of high unemployment levels, saying that with hands-on skills, the unemployment rate would be reduced drastically in the community.
“As you know, we are going through a phase of high unemployment in the country. There are so many degree holders looking for employment, but with hands-on-skills training, it would be easy for them to start their own jobs and also be job givers.