Enugu – The National Directorate of Employment (NDE) on Wednesday empowered 19 graduates of its vocational skills development programme with equipment in Enugu State.
The beneficiaries were presented with generators, sewing machines, GSM repair kits, computers, photo copiers and hair dryers.
The Acting Director General of the organisation, Mr Kunle Obayan, said that the beneficiaries were trained under its National Open Apprenticeship Scheme.
“What we witnessed today is also happening in 17 other states across the federation with about 450 persons who received training in various skills being empowered,’’ he said.
Obayan, who was represented by the South East Zonal Director, Mr Benjamin Onuoha, said that the plan to create mass employment opportunities for unskilled and unemployed Nigerians by President Muhammad Buhari had just started.
He said that 19 new small scale businesses had been injected into the economy of Enugu State, adding that the scheme would soon be extended to the remaining 18 states and the FCT.
The DG thanked the Federal Government for making lives meaningful for unemployed youths in the country.
In his remark, the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry in the state, Mr Sam Ogbu-Nwobodo, thanked the NDE for training the youths in vocations.
Ogbu-Nwobodo, who was represented by Mr Hillary Ozor, the Director of Produce in the ministry, said that the training was a strategic step by the NDE to empower the less privileged.
He urged the trainees to live up to the challenges of being self-employed and further create wealth in the state.
In his speech, the Coordinator of the agency in Enugu State, Mr Joseph Iroegbu, said the programme was in line with NDE’s mandate to fight mass unemployment through skills acquisition.
Iroegbu said that the graduates were trained in trades such as welding, fashion designing, aluminum fabrication and electrical installation.
He urged the beneficiaries to use the equipment to be self-reliant and contribute their quota to national development.
The coordinator said that they were expected to pay back the cost of the equipment within four years after a moratorium of six month.
‘Those of you who are being settled today constitute a little fraction of the number of National Open Apprenticeship Scheme graduates in the state, so do not let the bridge break after you have crossed over,” he said.
He urged those that did not benefit to exercise patience as it would soon get to their turn.
One of the beneficiaries, Jude Aneke, thanked the NDE for the gesture and promised that they would make use of the equipment to the best of their knowledge. (NAN)