The Minister of State for Mines and Power, Dr Uchechukwu Ogah, has advocated skill acquisition as a way of moving Nigeria to self dependency.
Ogah spoke in Amankalu Alayi, Bende Local Government Area of Abia State during the groundbreaking of Alayi Skills Acquisition Centre.
Ogah added, “Time has come for Nigeria to move away from rhetoric and academics as China did; skills now rule the world.
“People should go to school, but they should also acquire skill and still come out as graduates.”
Ogah, who noted that skill acquisition had no age limit, said for the initiator of the skill acquisition centre, Honor Onyebuchukwu, to invite the wife of the President, Aisha Buhari, to Alayi showed that the Federal Government was involved in the project.
He said, “Honor Onyebuchukwu was born in Alayi for a reason and she is doing what God placed her to do; to assist humanity.”
He urged the youths and the elderly in area to acquire one skill or another, assuring his support until the project was completed.”
Earlier, the Chairman, Advisory Board, Alayi Skills Acquisition Centre, Sir John Ajuga, commended the initiator of the centre, saying, “The need to have our teeming population, especially our youths and other and other people living in our various villages, to acquire skills can never be over emphasised. With the increasing unemployment, the saying, ‘teach them how to fish, instead of giving them fish,’will be put into practice with this project when completed.”
The Alayi Development Union President General, Emeka Eze, described the project as “great and unprecedented” in the history of the community.
In their separate speeches, two traditional rulers from the area, the Nkalu Ukwu of Amankalu Alayi, Eze David Ufere; and Eze James Abba of Isiama Alayi expressed their happiness over the project, describing Onyebuchukwu as a pathfinder.
Onyebuchukwu, in her speech, describing the project as a team work which would, in few months, begin to bear fruits.
She said the project would be free for trainees, adding that N86.38m would be spent, while subjects like Mathematics and English would also be taught there.
She said, “The centre is a skilled-up, entrepreneurial and manpower grooming initiative birthed to equip our teeming youths and adults alike with requisite skills that will make them become well-informed, and strategically positioned to contribute their quota to the economy of our nation, Nigeria. This will reduce poverty, unemployment, thuggery and other social vices associated with unemployment.
“Alayi Skills Acquisition Centre is positioned to be an excellent breeding ground for entrepreneurial and managerial talent.”
Ogah later laid the foundation stone of the centre located inside Amankalu Alayi Primary School, which was founded in 1949.Copyright PUNCH.
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