NCDMB/ITF begin training of 255 youths in vocational skills

*Vocational training

*9000 trained since inception of Board

OpeOluwani Akintayo

Lagos — The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, NCDMB has partnered the Industrial Training Fund, ITF to tutor 255 Nigerian youths in nine vocational skills.

The six months training is being funded by the NCDMB and will be conducted by the ITF, covering classroom and intensive practical exercises in Hospitality and Tourism, Mobile Phone Repairs and Troubleshooting, Information and Communication Technology, Electrical/Electronic Technology and Industrial Automation and Mechatronics.

Other areas include Instrumentation and Process Control, Mechanical Services & Maintenance, Residential Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Maintenance and Building Technology.

The kick-off ceremony was held on Thursday in Abuja, the beneficiaries having been selected from the Board’s NOGIC-JQS platform, with representation from the six geo-political zones of the country. A further selection exercise was organised for the trainees, involving computer-based tests and oral interviews in Abuja, Lagos and Port Harcourt.

The Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote spoke at the ceremony, where he affirmed that the initiative was consistent with the objectives of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development, NOGICD Act and NCDMB’s 10-Year Strategic Roadmap, targeted at growing Nigerian Content from 27 percent in 2017 to 70 percent by 2027.

The Roadmap also aspires to retain over US$14bn out of US$20bn estimated annual industry spend in-country and create over 300,000 direct and indirect employment.

The intent of the NCDMB/ITF collaboration is to close gaps in vocational and entrepreneurship skills among Nigerian youths, drive self-employment and value creation in the oil and gas industry and linkage sectors and address youths’ redundancy and loss of economic value of human capital needed to drive economic growth, he explained.

Part of the goal is also to strengthen the linkage between the oil and gas industry and other sectors of the Nigerian economy and complement the Federal Government`s commitments and efforts towards job creation and diversification of the Nigerian economy.

Wabote highlighted the premium NCDMB places on human capital development, adding that “from the inception of the Board in 2010, over 9,000 Nigerians have benefitted from our training in various skill areas for graduates and artisans resulting in over 10 million training manhours.”

He assured that NCDMB will continue its training interventions and was widening its coverage to vocational and entrepreneurship skills, which are critical to the creation of employment, sustainable growth and diversification of the Nigerian economy.

He expressed delight over the Board’s partnership with ITF, which has excelled in the strategic role of leading the development of knowledge and skills in the various sectors of the Nigerian economy.

In her remarks, the Minister of State, Industry, Trade & Investment Amb. Mariam Yalwaji katagum said the event underscored “the commitment of the Federal Government towards improving the country’s economy and livelihood of the citizenry by equipping the Nigerian youth with requisite skills for entrepreneurship and employability, in spite of the negative effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic.”

She urged the trainees to seize the privileged opportunity and use the skills they will acquire to not only put food on their table, but to meaningfully contribute to the growth of the Nigerian economy.

The Director-General of ITF, Mr. Joseph Ari commended the NCDMB for “its numerous skills programmes that have empowered thousands of Nigerians with cutting-edge skills for employability and entrepreneurship.”

He hinted that the enormous challenges posed by unemployment and poverty in the country can only be tackled successfully through the collaborative efforts of agencies and organisations.

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