BY JANE OSAMOR
Former President Goodluck Jonathan has commended the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), for approving a four-day electrical installation and maintenance training programme organised in Bayelsa by the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure.
The former president and the Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, however, cautioned trainees taking part in the programme not to sell their start-up packs at the end of the exercise.
The two leaders, who made the call on Tuesday during their separate remarks at the opening ceremony of the skills acquisition programme holding at the Federal University, Otuoke, in the Ogbia Local Government Area of the state, noted that the success of the exercise largely depends on the attitude of the beneficiaries.
Speaking as a special guest at the event, Jonathan urged NASENI and the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board to establish a functional institute in Bayelsa for quality training in the oil and gas and other critical areas. The former president stressed that vocational skills training was the way to go for the country to meet its industrial development target.
Jonathan said, “While I join others to call on NASENI to increase the number of trainees, I’m mindful and more interested in the quality of the training.
“So, now that President Buhari has mandated me to coordinate your (NASENI) activities, I urge the two of you (NASENI and NCDMB) to work together to make sure that one excellent and functional training centre is built in Bayelsa. Related News
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“That will help to churn out our youth every one or two years so that after a period of five to 10 years, we will have enough people to work in the industrial parks that are being built.”
On his part, the Bayelsa governor called on governments at all levels to strive to build a massive pool of highly skilled manpower to drive the nation’s industrial development.
Diri, who was represented by his deputy, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, said his administration had trained thousands of youths through its skills acquisition and training programme in the state so far.
A statement by the deputy governor’s Senior Special Assistant on Media, Doubara Atasi, said Diri called on the beneficiaries to take the training seriously, and tasked NASENI to follow-up and track the beneficiaries to ensure that the start-up packs that would be given out did not end in markets.
In her welcome address, the acting executive Vice Chairman of NASENI, Mrs Nonyem Onyechi, said the first phase of the programme was aimed at training 100 Bayelsa youths as a major step towards the Fourth Industrial Revolution.