Wife of Edo State Governor, Mrs Betsy Obaseki, has said the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration will continue to groom youths in the state in on-demand skill-set, especially in Information and Communication Technology (ICT), to prepare them to contribute to the state’s fledgling economy.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony of 400 youths trained on various ICT skills at the Edo Production Centre, Benin City, Mrs Obaseki who was represented by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Gender, Ms Efosa Uyigue, commended the state’s Skills Development Agency (EdoJobs) and its partners for equipping youths with relevant skills to transform the state’s economy.
She said the skills programme was a dream come true, noting that she has always been passionate about skills development as an avenue to provide real solutions to problems confronting the Nigerian society.
"The application of ICT such as coding technology has the capacity of addressing the mirage of problems and improve the lives of people in the state," she added.
While congratulating the graduands, she urged them to recognise the value of skills they were taught and that they should be courageous to use the knowledge acquired to create the needed change in the society.
The Commissioner for Wealth Creation and Cooperatives, Hon. Felix Akhabue, urged the graduands to put into use the skills acquired.
He assured them of support in the areas of counselling and linkage with opportunities for funding.
"We can give counselling and guidelines on business management and can link them to soft loans. N2 billion is with Micro finance banks in Edo and N500 million is with Bank of Industry to support the growth of SMEs in the state."
In her remarks, Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Skills Development and Job Creation, Mrs. Ukinebo Dare, noted that the graduands were from Edo Innovate and had undergone training ranging from two weeks to one year.
She said the trainings are conducted on a continuous basis across the 18 local government areas of the state, assuring that the graduands who were yet to put their skills into use would be linked to opportunities to do so through the EdoJobs platform.
The highpoint of the event was presentation of starter-packs to 200 graduands who were trained on solar panel installation.
The graduands comprised 200 persons from Solar PV Training; 100 from MainOne-sponsored Data Science and Artificial Intelligence (AI) training; 50 from EdoBits and 50 from JuniorTechAfrica.