Enugu Govt trains youths on digital economy , other skills to alleviate poverty 

As part of the measures put in place to empower the youths to compete with their counterparts nationally and internationally, as well as alleviating  poverty in the state, Enugu state Government has commenced youth  empowerment programs  in different skills an in different parts of the state 

pix- SSG,Prof Onyia

State Governor, Dr. Peter Mbah, who  paid a visit to one of  the training centers in Enugu(.MSME/ALT School training Center) on Friday , March 8, to observe the training and encourage the students, disclosed that to newsmen in Enugu 

He recalled that  in his inaugural speech in 2023, he had talked about equipping  young people  with the skills necessary to make them  to be productive and competitive globally.

Governor Mbah, who was represented by the Secretary the state Government , Prof Chidiebere Onyia, explained that ithe Digital training was one of  the programs  that were being run with the MSMEs team  and  the Digital economy team , aimed at equipping the young people with what is relevant today, ” to make them productive but  more importantly, to enhance their competitiveness in the global arena..

 Pix-Ukeh(L) Chilo -Offiah(R)

While giving a brief remarks on the program, Governor Mbah said, ‘ This is a six months program actually, of  every three days a week contact time , to be able to enhance their knowledge itself. At the end of the day, there will be certification process that strengthens their commitments to draw with the knowledge that they have learnt, so, that’s why we gathered them”.

He  added that Enugu state is fully  backing the program , and that the program is being led on behalf of the Governor’s team, by the Special Adviser to His Excellency, Arinze Chilo Offia Junior , who has been pushing it on behalf of the Government. 

Addressing the students, Governor Mbah urged them to justify the time they spent  in the training and make something good from it. He said,  “I want you to think about how much of your  hours you have invested in this and t’s a lot of time or hours  that you cannot get back. The knowledge you take away is something that can  change your life . You took a decision and that decision most be productive.” 

 Pix- Gov Mbah’s representative, Prof Onyia addressing the students

He advised the students to take the training seriously ,so they could take care of themselves , their families and would not be considered poor. He commended the students  for being part of the training. “You are the ones that will change the  face of Enugu.Most of you will change the face of governance in Enugu. In every single day, there is a problem to solve and I say to you, remember as time goes on , the solutions to problems are dynamic .We need you to do your own part. You people have your own life ahead. If you are not committed till tomorrow, it will conceal a problem”, he said..

The Governor  also commended the Organisers of the program; the Special Adviser to the Governor on Digital Economy and MSMEs, Arinze Chilo -Offia and the partner, ALTSchool Africa for their commitment in training the youths .

Pix- Ukeh(L)Onyia ( m) Chilo-Offia( R)

On his part,  the Special Adviser to the Governor on Digital Economy and MSMEs,  Arinze Chilo Offia, said the program is  one of the several  training programs.around digital marketing ,full start software development, cyber security and others. He added that youths were also  trained in  business skills, vocational skills,  plumbing , electrical works, painting, and others programs.

The Special Adviser to the Governor said the program  is done in partnership with the private sector experts . ” You know basically, the fees for their certification are very high, but we were able to negotiate at a very subsidized rate ,because as state government, we are also providing vocations for the training like you saw here. This  place is not cheap. This is almost N200,000 a day, , vocations for the training, free internet during the training process,, we also  provide them with some level of stipend that they might need .

Pix- Prof Onyia

On  the criteria used to select the. beneficiaries, he said , “‘ It is  not automatic. You have to go through  series of assessment to get  the best of the best and those individuals are selected, Enugu MSMEs center provides them with a zero interest loan  strictly for the training. So ,as the money gets into their account, it is used to pay for a slot. For this one,  training is for six months . We asked them to pay us back twelve months after the training. , that’s an eighteen months tenure. 

” We also facilitate with job access through our partners  here,  ALTSchool Africa and the ones that want to go  out, we also support them,” he said.

Highlighting some of  the achievements they had made  so far,, Offia said they trained  about four hundred individuals on Cyber security  and they had twenty women from Ogbette market. “They have sold their shops, the minimum of them is earning Seven hundred thousand naira  a month.  So, when it comes to human capital development,  my mantras is you can save those that want to save themselves and these are the individuals that we see here, that went through our programs. 

 He added that the state Government  wanted where the youths will live here in Enugu and  they could be provided services both nationally and internationally .

On his part, the Senior Program manager , ALTSchool Africa, Jerry Ukeh, said ALTSchool Africa is  a foremost Alternative learning institution in the whole of Sub- Sahara African. “This opportunity is  a very good one,” he said.

Ukeh said  most of the programs aligned with their organisation perfectly.

“This is opportunity to give the people , the young people in Enugu the chance to build themselves and also offer services globally at the same time. It is a perfect mix between what Enugu state government wants and what we , as an  institution wants to achieve as an educational company.

“A lot of young people in Nigeria, in thousand, have gone into this technical  skill, you know, software development, even the non- technical skill as well  and this has created a train of African talents, Nigerian talents, offering services globally. So, if you look at even the biggest tech hub, the Googles, the Microsofts, the Apples, if you look at their African staff strength, you will see that the very high number of this people are Nigerians. How did Nigerians get there? You might ask.  it’s from starting somewhere, picking up a skill learning and learning. This has helped some of the biggest apps, the websites that you use today. A lot of them were built by young people from Nigeria. So, this is an opportunity to compete and contribute  globally. It gives you an opportunity to be heard. This changes the game for everybody that is part of it”, Ukeh said. 

He further said ,”a lot of people already started here from Enugu. Personally, I also started my career from Enugu.. it’s like a whole generation, thousands of talents here who had picked up  these talents before now and are currently contributing , giving services globally, while also building solutions for the local ,” he said.

Author: Maureen Ikpeama

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