The Governor of Cross River State, Senator Professor Ben Ayade, CON, has reasserted the commitment of his administration to the training of youth of the state in major areas of needs of the state.
Governor Ayade made this known while declaring open the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) Skills Acquisition Training and Youths Empowerment held in Calabar on Monday.
Ayade who was represented at the opening ceremony of the programme with the theme, ‘Modern Methods of Electrical Installations and Maintenance, ” by the Deputy Governor, Professor Ivara Esu, OFR, stressed that it is the desire of the present state administration to leave the state well equipped with youth who has vast and competent knowledge in modern methods of electrical installations and other major areas of artisans highly in need by the state.
“I will leave Cross River a better and sufficiently equipped state than I met it in areas like electrical installations, repairs and maintenance, plumbing, fashion and design and all areas of artisans that will keep the state industries maintained and runing constantly with the state owned manpower,” Professor Ayade emphasized.
He averred that it is based on this reality that his administration established the Construction and Fabrication Academy of West Africa with emphasis on major areas in great need in the 21st century in the state and the world in general.
The Governor disclosed that for this reason government is partnering with NASENI in the skills development and acquisition, training of Youth for self-employment generation.
Ayade frowned at the situation where majority of the skilled manpower need of the state is sourced from outside Cross River and even neighbouring countries, maintaining that the Construction and Fabrication Academy is deliberately planned to fill that vacuum of dearth of skillful artisans among many youths of Cross River State.
Senator Ayade explained that another major reason for the vision which led to the establishment of the Academy is to provide sufficient skillful artisans in all needed areas to feed the many industries established by his administration, thereby preventing excessive capital flight from the state.
The Governor congratulated the first batch of trainees who have received startup packs and encourage them to take the training seriously, while warning them against the temptations to sell off their startup packs as the packs would still be useful to them after the training sessions.
In his remark, the Chairman of the occasion, Rt. Hon. Legor Idagbo commended the Agency under the able leadership of Engr. Prof. M. S. Haruna the Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive for a job well done and for bringing the training for the South-South Geopolitical Zone to Cross River State. Rt. Hon. Legor Idagbo also commended the President of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari and the Governor of Cross River State Sen. Prof. Ben Ayade for their passion and support for youth development and skills acquisition.
The Member of Parliament representing Obanliku/Bekwerra/Obudu Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives expressed his excitement about the Construction and Fabrication Academy of West Africa established by the Sen. Prof. Ben Ayade Administration, noting that it is already training skilled manpower among youth as unemployment reaches about 42 percent among youths.
Speaking earlier, the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive of National Agency for Science and Engineering (NASENI), Engr. Prof. Mohamed Haruna disclosed that the programme is the first phase for the South-South geopolitical zone and it is to ensure that our youths develop and acquire skills that are veritable to self-employment and job creation.
Professor Haruna observed that presently, frontier technologies are innovations that are shaping and fast tracking the fourth industrial revolution.
He maintained that without doubt, the innovations were disrupting many things of the old way of doing things and constantly introducing changes and standards.
Professor Haruna stated that the essence of the training was to familiarize the trainees with the current and emerging technologies in electrical installations, repairs and maintenance as well as prepare and equip them by building solid competency in them to meet the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century with the emerging new age or new world order that will help shape our nation in the next industrial revolution.
Goodwill messages were received from the former Minister of Culture, Mr. Edem Duke, the Head of Service of Cross River State, Mr. Timothy Ogbang Akwaji, the Deputy Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Eka Williams and Chairman of the National Youth Council of Nigeria, Comr. Daniel Obo among others.
As part of the ongoing training, the Agency is expected to train 100 youths in the first phase of the programme.
Commissioner for Lands and LOC Chairman, Prof. John Inyang, Commissioner for Sports and Cinematography, Onun Dr Offu Aya, Bekwerra Chapter Chairman of APC, Mr. Odama Egbung, Head of Personal Staff to the Deputy Governor, Mr. Ejemot Ejemot and other top government officials among others attended the opening ceremony held at the Construction and Fabrication Academy of West Africa building, Calabar.