By Tony Eri
Government of Anambra State has pledged to make the state a hub for skills in Africa.
The Commissioner for Youth Development, Mr. Patrick Agha-mba revealed this while inspecting and evaluating designated training centers for the one youth two skills initiative of the present administration.
The Commissioner said that the state government is poised to raising smart entrepreneurs and 1000 youth millionaires each year through the State Ministry of Youth Development in collaboration with Unizik Business School.
The Centres visited include; Unizik Business School, Awka, Industrial Training Fund Office, Awka, Integral Development Konsult (IDK) Learning and Business Development Centre, Awka, Anaocha Entrepreneurship Development Institute, Entrepreneurship Development Centre, Federal Polytechnic, Oko, Aguata Local Government Council and the Holy Rosary Vocational and Innovation Institute, Igbo-ukwu.
The One Youths Two Skills Entrepreneurship Scheme for Masters Trainers and Trainees Batch A Stream 1 Pilot phase is being conducted in 23 skill training centers spread across 21 local government councils in the state and is expected to last five months.
Apprenticeship, Entrepreneurship, Cooperative Society, and Business Financing are the stages of the scheme, with the beneficiaries being Apprentices (Umu-boy), Business Start-ups, and Existing Businesses for Growth and Sustainability.
Commissioner Agha-Mba explained that the Ministry of Youth Development will mentor trainees for a year after their empowerment, which is why there is a holistic approach to the training.
He stated that records in the Ministry shows that previous governments trained over 1000 people and empowered only 135 people between 2016 and 2021, but Governor Soludo intends to train and empower 5000 youths this year.
“The government is prepared and looking for people who are prepared as well.”
“Trainee attendance is taken seriously. We are currently working with those who are prepared. Because the goal is to find jobs, jobs, and quality jobs. We cannot lower our standards”, he stressed.
“Mr Governor’s goal is for entrepreneurs to become labor employers within the next two years,” Mr. Agha-Mba added.
He said that the training marks a new era in the state’s efforts to find long-term solutions to youth restiveness and unemployment.
“This is the first time that the state government has taken youth empowerment to a new level.” The government will continue to interact with trainees each year. In the early stages, there are issues and challenges.
Prof Soludo’s agenda is “one youth, two skills.” He understands young people. He chose me because I was the former president of ASATU Youth Wing. He recognizes that the youth are the most important segment of any society.
He noted that the ongoing training is not a political empowerment scheme, as well as not for settlement, urging the trainees to seize the opportunity and stay focused, to get the best out of the exercise.
In her vote of thanks, Reverend Sister Chinwere Nwosu of Okpalaeke Orumba North commended the Governor for taking an innovative step.
She reiterated that the Igbo people are natural entrepreneurs, explaining that Governor Soludo’s initiative will certainly reduce poverty and unemployment in the state.