Federal and state Governments have been urged to lay more emphasis on skills acquisition for the youths particularly unemployed youths in the country
This according to the Chairman of Open Arms Outreach Organization, Rev. Basil Ndubuisi Njoku, would provide meaningful engagement for the youths and also divert their attention away from crime and criminality
Rev Njoku further believed that the inclusion of entrepreneurship and skill acquisition training in the policy formulation and implementation in the coming years would pull the country out of its present economic problem
He made the call while speaking at the Graduation/Closing ceremony of a two-week Skills Acquisition Program for indigenes of the 16 autonomous communities in Isu LGA of Imo State held at the Town School, Ebenato Ekwe.
The Chairman explained, ” skills acquisition is part of empowering the young people to become productive and economically self-reliant for personal and communal wealth creation “
He insisted that Governments in Nigeria should introduce skills acquisition into the nation’s education curriculum emphasizing that more efforts should be made to salvage the nation from unemployment, hunger and poverty
Rev Njoku disclosed that about 700 persons were trained in cosmetology, shoe/bag making, cinematography, phone repairs, confectionaries, paint making and application etc free of charge for the two weeks by seasoned resource persons.
“What we are doing is giving skills acquisition for people to learn and not only to learn but to love God because it not about he that runs or wills but of God that shows mercy. We are giving it free of charge and no one is asked to pay a dime.
“We are calling the government and groups that may wish to join hands with us in carrying on with spreading the skills acquisition training to areas across the country. I have been carrying this alone and will welcome helping hands to make more people benefit,” he said.
He charged the participants to remain focused on practising what they have learnt and trust God to be able to prosper in life and prayed for their success in their respective chosen endeavours.
Also speaking, the International Vice Chairman of Open Arms Outreach Organization and wife of the founder, Dr Mrs Helen Njoku, appreciated God, the traditional rulers and Isu local government authorities for the success of the program.
While also appreciating the participants for their dedication during the period, Mrs Njoku enjoined them to start practising the trade learnt without delay to avoid losing touch with the vision of the program.
Earlier in his welcome address, Pastor Elijah Chukwudi Emmanuel, the organization’s National Coordinator for Nigeria, appreciated all that contributed to the success of the training exercise.
He said, “Today we have made history together as we can all see our own children armed with at least one of the nine skills God used this organization to bring your way as your own sons and daughters suddenly rise out of obscurity and the state of unemployment in this nation to become their own bosses and employers of labour respectively.”
Declaring the event closed, the Sole Administrator, SOLAD, of Isu LGA, Hon. Ifeanyi Oguzie represented by one of his aides, Hon. Simon Tochukwu Uzoigwe assured the beneficiaries of his administration’s support to enable them go into business without delay.
He commended the organizers for the gesture of bringing the skills acquisition training to Isu people pointing out that the council would continue to monitor the activities of the participants to ensure they don’t derail from the goals of the program.
On behalf of the traditional rulers, HRH Eze Ifeanyi A. Nwokoforo, represented by his Palace Secretary, Chief Gabriel Nnadi thanked the organizers and prayed for God’s unceasing blessings upon them.
He advised the trainees to utilize the skills to advance their positive aspirations in life and shun acts capable of leading them into trouble such as kidnapping, banditry, armed robbery etc.
Two of the trainees who spoke exclusively to our correspondent, Ms Oluchi Ojiaku from Nnerim Isu who trained in confectionaries and Phone Repairs’ Chigere Chukwuebuka Kenneth described the training exercise as rare opportunity for them to improve their lives.
Stating that the programme was the first of its kind in the area, the duo thanked Open Arms Outreach Organization for the opportunity assuring that they will soon start their own businesses and called on government and individuals to support them financially to take off.
Highlights of the occasion was the display of products by each department, drama, issuance of certificates of participation and prayers to place a seal of authority on the exercise.