Governor Udom Emmanuel has commissioned a 1000-Capacity Vocational Skills Center, initiated and completed by the Member representing the people of Oruk Anam Federal Constituency, Hon. Unyime Idem, for the development of his people.
Governor Emmanuel, who was represented by the Commissioner for Labour and Manpower Planning, Elder Aniefiok Nkom, commended Hon. Idem for effective representation and milestone achievements through the provision of several projects for the good of the people, particularly, the storey building vocational center for the training of the people in different skills.
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Elder Nkom praised the House of Representatives member for having an inkling of what the Governor is trying to do, stating that under his Ministry, the governor has established a world-class Entrepreneurial Center at Ikot Adaidem, along Uyo-Ikot Ekpene, for equipping citizens with various skills in collaboration with other international organisations.
“As we speak today, the British Council has come to examine the center and is ready to partner with Akwa Ibom State”. He said.
He stressed that the administration of Governor Emmanuel is keen and committed to ensuring that Akwa Ibom people become proficient in marketable skills and gain certification from relevant local and international bodies, in order to prepare them to be suitable for employment in multinational companies, stressing that only paper and degree certificates are no longer adequate criteria for employments.
The Governor emphasised the need to collaborate with lawmaker to provide the needed equipment and specific programmes at both centers of Ikot Adaidem and Ikot Okoro, to avoid duplications.
He expressed delight with the community leaders of Ikot Okoro, the host community of the project, for bringing enlightenment to the village, through the donation of land, and offering support for the establishment of the centre. He therefore, urged them to protect and make maximum use of the facility, as it would be a source of meal tickets for several generations.
Speaking earlier, Hon Unyime Idem, who expressed gratitude to the Governor for honouring him and the people with his presence, recalled that “In 2019, when I first visited this place, I made a commitment that since employment was hard to come by, the alternative to white collar job is skill acquisition. So, that was why I initiated empowerment for 5000 youths of the Federal Constituency, which led to the empowerment of 1500 people in 2020, and in 2021 another 1000 were empowered”. He promised that the other 2500 youths will be empowered soon.
The Federal House Member stressed that the centre would be fully equipped for commencement of the first batch trainees by December, mentioning that education with just a certificate without a skill cannot guarantee employment, adding that it is time for the youth to learn how to do things with their hands.
He challenged youths to learn from him who started from a humble background with a paltry sum of N45,000.00, in entrepreneurship many years ago, and has been able to rise to the position where he is today.
He expressed optimism that with the support and opportunities he had made available for the youths in the federal constituency, the next generation of leaders and technical gurus would be raised, if they will be humble enough to get themselves trained and be empowered from the center. “Today’s world is ruled by those that understand the importance of skills, and technical knowledge”. He said.
A number of dignitaries attended the event, including a former Commissioner for Education, (Hon) Pastor Paul Udofia, Hon Sony Udom, Hon Sonny Okoko, Former Permanent Secretary, Elder Etop Uko, among other Political, Community leaders, as well as stakeholders.