A total of 5,478 Akwa Ibom youths from the 31 local government areas in the state have benefitted from Governor Udom Emmanuel’s Skills development and youth empowerment programme in the past 18 months.
The youths were trained in ICT, Oil and Gas, Welding and Fabrication, Fashion design, among others.
Speaking on Wednesday on Inspiration FM, Uyo as part of activities to mark World Youths Skills Day, 2020, Mrs. Alice Ekpenyong, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Skills Development, stated that the Governor has demonstrated commitment to ensuring Akwa Ibom youths are economically independent through skills and entrepreneurship development.
“About 5,478 youths have been trained in different skills including, ICT, Oil&gas, welding and fabrication in the last18 months. It actually started in 2019.
“We ended the training exercise just before the pandemic. Recently, the government of Akwa Ibom State has distributed some inputs to the youths in Agriculture, under the Cassava Farmers Scheme in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture,” she said.
Ekpenyong, a former Chief Whip in the State House of Assembly, stated that programme would enter the next phase as her office awaits inputs from the Economic Recovery Committee.
“They are now in the immigration stage, so we are waiting for them to hear what they have for us, and then we’ll continue from where they stopped.
“We just concluded a tour across the state and we have identified 24 training centers that we will use for the training programme,” she added.
The Director of Administration at the Skills Center Development Office, Pastor Godwin George who also fielded questions during the interview said the Office of the SSA to the Governor on Skills Development undertakes the training, monitoring and mentoring of the trainees.
George explained that at the end of their training the Skills Development Office in partnership with Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria, SMEDAN will ensure every successful trainee is empowered on completion of the training programme.
“We ensure every trainee is established. We partner SMEDAN to enable them get a SMEDAN certificate and with the certificate, they can access CBN loan. We go as far as partnering the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC to get their businesses registered.”
The theme of the 2020 World Youth Skills Day is Virtual Event on Skills for a Resilient Youth in the era of COVID-19 and beyond, and Mrs. Ekpenyong told interested participants in the forthcoming skills training programme to register with her office at 10 Afia Etoi Street, Uyo.