By Stanley Nwanosike
Ifitedunu – The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, says the Federal Government will use certificated skill acquisition to fight unemployment and idleness among Nigerian youths.
Ngige said this on Sunday at the palace of Igwe Chukwuemeka Ilouno, Traditional Ruler of Ifitedunu Community of Anambra.
Ngige was in the palace to receive documents for 3,000 quare metres land for building a Specialised Skill Acquisition in the community.
He said the edifice for the scheme to be built by the Federal Government would have hostels and would offer skill courses with certification in levels one, two and three.
He said the project was a replica of the London City and Guild Academy.
The minister noted that the project would be established in each state under the same model.
Ngige said the first phase of the project, which included skill laboratories, auditorium, water and security facilities, would be delivered in three months.
He also said the second phase of the programme would commence immediately, since the project had been captured in 2018 appropriation bill.
“The Federal Government is looking inward by encouraging specialisation on jobs such as carpentry, bricklaying, tiling, fashion designing, make-up and bead making and interior decoration among others.
“This is to help redeem our youths from joblessness, occasioned by lack of white collar jobs.
“There are no white collar jobs any longer. If you are waiting for one, you will wait for a long time.
“People are now finding employment in the blue collar jobs, and it is even more profitable.
“How many of you are aware that the daily pays for carpenters and other artisans have increased?
“In Abuja they collect as high as N10, 000 per day’s job. If they get these per day jobs even if it is only five times in a month, do you know how much that is?
“How many white collar jobs pay that much in a month,’’ Ngige asked.
He also urged religious and traditional leaders as well as parents to strengthen the moral capacity of the young ones.
According to him, such steps will ensure that the youths are not idle and bereft of positive idea.
The Deputy Governor of Anambra, Dr Nkem Okeke, expressed delight at the Federal Government decision to use the community as a pilot site for such a laudable programme.
Okeke assured the minister that the state was prepared to assist in any other way to ensure that the project was completed as planned.
“Anambra state government will give its maximum co-operation to this project in order for the residents of the state to reap its benefits,’’ he said.
Earlier, Ilouno thanked the delegation for siting the project meant to uplift the socio-economic status of the youth and women of the state in his community.
The monarch promised to galvanise the community to support the contractor selected to handle the project.
“As we donated the land without rancour and asking for compensation, we will also co-operate with the contractor on site to facilitate the speedy completion of the structure without rancour,’’ he said.
The Consultant to the project, Mr Mike Nwafor, also promised to ensure that the contractor delivered quality work within scheduled period.