By Muftau Ogunyemi
Akure – The National Directorate of Employment (NDE) says it has trained no fewer than 540 unemployed youths in various vocations in the 18 local government areas of Ondo State.
Mr Dare Awokoya, the State Coordinator of NDE, made the disclosure at the opening ceremony and orientation programme for the 2020 Basic National Open Apprenticeship Scheme (B- NOAS) trainees held on Thursday in Akure.
Awokoya, who explained that NDE had remained the main scheme that had attracted the highest patronage in terms of beneficiaries and popularity, said that B-NOAS was one of the components of NDE in the country.
“Today marks another batch of B -NOAS trainees that will undergo three months intensive training in all the local government areas and at the NDE/ skill acquisition center situated at Ikare- Akoko, Ilutitun and Akure.
“A total of 540 trainees made up of 30 trainees per local government are involved in various skills acquisition programmes, including tailoring and hairdressing,” he said.
Awokoya advised trainees to concentrate fully during the training period as measures had been put in place to assess their performance, punctuality and regularity.
The NDE coordinator also appealed to all stakeholders in employment generation in the country to augment the efforts of the NDE in combating the unabated menace of unemployment over the years, saying NDE could not do it alone.
Also speaking, Mr James Solomon, an Assistant Director of NDE in Abuja, who represented the Director General of NDE, Dr Mohammed Argungu, explained that the directorate would be giving each trainee and trainer a monthly stipend for the period of the programme.
Argungu charged trainees to be self reliant and be serious with the programme so that NDE’s efforts would not be wasted at the end.
“The trainees need to take it seriously because many are roaming aimlessly about. You know how much it will cost you to even approach an individual for training. Now that NDE is doing it on your behalf , you have to make good use of the opportunity ,” he said.
One of the trainees, Mrs Olabisi Ekunsumi, who, appreciated the NDE for the laudable programme, said that the gesture would go a long way to alleviate poverty in the country.
“This programme is a laudable one because we are being trained free to get something in life and to alleviate poverty.
“As it is in Nigeria now, some are thinking of suicide while some are thinking of committing evil things. But if you are engaged in this kind of skills acquisition programme, you will not be thinking of evil again,” she said.