Former President Jonathan, Governor Diri warn trainees against sale of starter packs

Former President Goodluck Jonathan, and Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, have cautioned trainees taking part in the four-day skills acquisition training programme organized by the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) not to sell off their starter packs at the end of the exercise.

The two leaders, who made the call at the opening ceremony of the training programme holding at the Federal University, Otuoke, in Ogbia Local Government Area of the State, noted that the success of the programme largely depends on the attitude of the beneficiaries.

Speaking as special guest at the event, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan commended President Muhammadu Buhari for giving his approval for the training exercise which draws participants from all the three senatorial districts in the state.

While calling on NASENI and the Local Content Board to establish a functional institute in Bayelsa for quality training in the oil and gas and other critical areas, the former President stressed that vocational skills training was the way to go for Nigeria to meet its industrial development target.

He, however, sounded a note of warning that the objective of NASENI would be defeated if the trainees sell off their working materials procured for them.

On his part, Governor Douye Diri urged governments at all levels to strive to build a massive pool of highly skilled manpower to drive the nation’s industrial development.

Governor Diri who spoke at the event through his Deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, disclosed that his administration had trained thousands of youths through its skills acquisition and training programme in the state so far.

The Bayelsa helmsman, who called on the beneficiaries to take the training seriously, tasked NASENI to follow up and track the beneficiaries to ensure that the starter packs that would be given out did not end in markets.

He commended the NASENI for putting up the four-day specialized youth training and empowerment programme together in the state,and advised the Agency to partner the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) on capacity-building programmes for youths.

Earlier in a remark, Executive Secretary of the NCDMB, Mr. Simbi Wabote, remarked that specialized youth training was critical to the industrial development of the country.

Describing the theme of the training programme, “Modern Methods of Electrical Installations and Maintenance” as apt, Mr. Wabote commended the NASENI for the capacity-building exercise aimed at promoting economic development through science, technology and engineering.

In her welcome address, Acting Executive Vice Chairman of the NASENI, Mrs. Nonyem Onyechi, said the first phase of the programme was aimed at training one hundred Bayelsa youths, as a step towards the fourth Industrial Revolution.

Mrs. Nonyem, who expressed gratitude to former President Goodluck Jonathan for his massive support for the Agency while in office, urged the beneficiaries to judiciously utilize the expensive tools that would be given to them as start-up enablers.

The Director General, Douye Diri Economic Empowerment Programme, (DDEEP), Mrs Charity Godwin, and Vice Chancellor, Federal University Otuoke, Professor Teddy Charles Adias, represented by the Deputy VC, Professor Chris Onyema, also delivered goodwill messages at the programme.