Okezie Ikpeazu. PHOTO: abiaonline.gov.ng
The Abia State government has offered automatic employment to 170 of the 464 pioneer graduates who were trained in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) skills in the first phase of the state Education for Employment (E4E) programme.
Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, who announced the offer in Umuahia, the state capital during their graduation ceremony that featured the launch of the State Job Portal, said the 170, comprising 10 from each of the councils, would run the job portal in their domains.
He also said that the graduates fit into government’s strategic five pillars namely: Trade/Commerce, Agriculture, Education, Oil and Gas and Infrastructure even as it has the capacity to provide technical assistance in engineering and manpower to support small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) in the state.
The ceremony, which was attended by the Minister Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, promoter of Innoson Motors, Nnewi, Innocent Chukwuma, representative of Aliko Dangote, Joseph Makoju, Registrar, National Technical Examination Board (NABTEB), Prof. Ifeoma Isiugo-Abanihe, among others also had a former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, as the keynote speaker .
Obi, who commended Ikpeazu for the programme, which was coordinated by the former United Kingdom based Chief Executive Officer of Kiara College, Endi Ezengwa, lamented that Nigeria did not invest in human infrastructure and knowledge adding that, “If the country did so, it would not have been where it is today.”
He urged the graduates to put the skills they have acquired into practice and be part of the change agents in the country stressing, “Because this was the way most successful people, companies and countries in the world started.”
Speaking, Vice Chancellor of Abia State University, Prof. Uche Ikonne, called for a knowledge-driven economy that would be run with the universities and comes with sponsorship of researches that would generate data for technological development.
Ezengwa, who is also the coordinator of E4E programme, said in practice, the graduates and future trainees were and would be trained in skills that would equip them to not only be employable after passing the NABTEB examination but employers of labour, adding that the programme also provides training for people with special needs.
Isiugo-Abanihe, who confirmed that the graduates were successful in the NABTEB examination, urged other states to embrace technical education like Abia, saying, “We like to associate with the E4E and we congratulate Ikpeazu for embarking on human capital development.”
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