Group trains youths on skills to boost human capital development in Edo

Obaseki (middle),i/mmediate Past President, Association of Esan Professionals, Matthew Egbadon (left), current president, Sam Obaze with the beneficiaries of the programme

Committed to capacity building and industrialisation of Esanland, a socio-cultural and nonpartisan group under the aegis Esan Professionals (AEP) has trained some youths from the area in human capital development as part of its contribution to boost economy of Edo State.

The group took delivery of some youths, who were sponsored to Petroleum Training Institute (PTI), Effurun in Delta State on skills acquisition in welding and fabrication with international certification, while another batch is to commence a nine-month training at the institute.

Speaking at the presentation of the graduands to Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki at the State House in Benin City, President of AEP, Sam Obaze, said that from inception in 2001, the group was clearly focused on empowering Esan people through rapid social and economic development of Esanland, mobilizing and facilitating youths and human capital development as well as fostering the spirit of unity and a sense of oneness among all Esan people. He said: “This vision combined with the desire to emancipate Esanland from the vicious cycle of poverty inspired the institution of Esan Economic Empowerment Workshop (EEEW), a summit aimed at promoting economic revival and infrastructural development of Esanland.”

Obaze informed the governor that a second batch of 10 youths have also been inducted to commence their training under the AEP Skill Acquisition Programme at the cost of another N25 million. He appealed to the governor to engage the PTI graduates, thereby putting their skills to use, especially as AEP seeks to extend vocational training opportunities to more Esan people.

The governor, while receiving the graduands, assured that his government would give employment priority to them through partner projects as well as link them to firms where their skills will be effectively put to use. He made reference to the proposed construction of modular refinery in the state, which he said would commence soon.

Founding President of the group, Chief Lawson Omokhodion, in his remark noted that the first ever EEEW was hosted on October 2, 2004, at the Ambrose Alli Hall, Ekpoma under the distinguished chairmanship of the revered global icon, Chief Anthony Enahoro, He added that Esan business elite poised to developing the investment opportunities in Esanland, providing a platform for sharing best practices and a cross-fertilization of ideas on how to deal with critical developmental challenges facing Esanland came up with EEEW, hosted in turns, on a rational basis by the five Local Government Areas that make up Esanland, namely; Esan West, Esan North East, Esan Central, Esan South East, and Igueben.

According to Omokhodion, it was conceptually expedient that the EEEWs, spanning over five years were devoted to agriculture, agribusiness and vocational investments. “On the heels of the aforementioned potentials in Esanland, the third EEEW held in Irrua on September 30, 2006, sought to, among others, engage the local people, trade groups, the private sector and communities through dialogue to start the formal training to extension services; while also focusing on source of funding cooperative groups for development,” he added.

Omokhodion further explained that with the theme: ‘Implementing the Vision of Building Groups for Economic Empowerment Using Cooperatives as Tools’, the workshop attracted over 1000 participants and about 42 cooperative societies including herdsmen from Northern part of the country, who live and engaged in cattle trading across major towns Esanland like Uromi and Ekpoma.

At the graduation ceremony, which held at the PTI Conference Centre, the Principal and Chief Executive of the Institute, Prof. Sunny Iyuke, represented by the Director of Research and Development, Dr. R.M. Umoh commended AEP for the laudable initiative of the training. He likened the programme to the Malaysian model for capacity building, poverty alleviation and economic independence. He added that with the international welder certification, the youths can work anywhere in the world as tube welders having gone through rigorous training and assessment on fillet, plate and pipe welding. He called on other bodies to emulate the AEP.

In this article:
Godwin ObasekiSam Obaze
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