A total of 100 youths from Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, have emerged the first beneficiaries of the empowerment and contract recruitment programme of the Oyo State Government. The programme is being executed by the First Technical University (Tech U), Ibadan.
Trained in security technology, fashion design, cosmetology, videography and agribusiness, the beneficiaries were drawn from Ona-Ara Local Government area of the state. Mostly Youths, they were at the university for two weeks participating in hands-on training in the vocational and business areas. The project was sponsored by the Commissioner for Finance and Budget, Mr Bimbo Adekanmbi.
Addressing the beneficiaries during the certificate presentation ceremony at the institution, the Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Ayobami Salami, described the scheme as the university’s way of providing sustainable alternatives to the crisis of unemployment in Nigeria.
He said: “In many ways, the rising rate of unemployment in our country today, currently puts at 23.1 per cent, should task any genuinely concerned observer to get to work and think of innovative ways out of the very worrisome situation. Our university is adequately equipped to offer evidence-based solutions in this regard.
“As Nigeria’s premier technical university, this programme, in addition to the unique and solid entrepreneurial and innovative education our regular students enjoy, is our corporate social responsibility. It is our own modest way of empowering our young people and getting them to work for development. The overarching aim of the programme is to promote innovative entrepreneurship by equipping beneficiaries with relevant, cutting-edge, creative and business skills required for impact and profitability.
“This programme is our first in the series. In the coming days, we shall also undertake similar trainings for youths across other parts of the state and the country at large. We hold the conviction that by working assiduously to empower our young people, we would not only deal a huge blow on poverty and unemployment in the country, but also bridge the yawning skills gap that consistently makes it impossible for the nation to join the league of truly productive economies globally.”
Salami expressed gratitude to Adekanmbi for partnering with the institution on the scheme.
He described the partnership as “an invaluable partnership borne out of shared values for the sustainable empowerment of our people.”
The Vice Chancellor assured the beneficiaries of a rewarding entrepreneurial journey having patiently endured the rigours of the programme.
“You would realize that, deliberately, we have emphasized that in addition to the skills acquired, you also acquire the know-how required to conduct businesses successfully, deploying proven innovative principles.
With this, we are assured that you would emerge as very prosperous entrepreneurs who solve problems, provide excellent services and create employment opportunities for others as proud alumnus of the Tech-U TVET Programme.” Salami said.
Adekanmbi also congratulated the beneficiaries, stressing that carrying a certificate of Tech U will enhance the credibility of their knowledge and skills before clients and other participants in the business world. He urged them to make the best use of the knowledge and skills acquired.
The commissioner also donated a sum of N500,000 to a fund that will be used as revolving loans for the beneficiaries.