Jos – The Plateau Government on Tuesday said it would revive the technology centres in the state to enhance technology-related entrepreneurship skills that would create jobs and boost Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
The state’s Deputy Governor, Prof. Sonni Tyoden, stated this when he inspected activities at the Relevant Technology Centre and the Science Equipment Production Centre, both in Jos.
Tyoden said that the visit to the centres was predicated on government’s resolve to rehabilitate the centres because of their potential to create skilled manpower that would be on their own and also employ others.
He added that “it is disheartening that centres like the Relevant Technology Centre and the Science Equipment Production Centre both in Jos with all the benefits that could accrue to the state have been allowed to go down.
“One of our focal areas of this administration as we have always stated is industrialisation and entrepreneurship and we will definitely reactivate the centres.
“Government will give the centres the necessary support, including funding and recruitment of staff to enable them to operate optimally and contribute their quota to the economy of the state.
“We need to do that now that the mainstay of the economy has taken a downward turn; we will use these kind of places to diversify the economy of Plateau and boost the state’s IGR.’’
The deputy governor, who is also the Commissioner for Higher Education, Science and Technology, said the state government is determined to engage its teeming youths meaningfully.
Earlier, Mr Simon Bonnap, the Executive Secretary, Relevant Technology Centre Jos, had told the deputy governor that the Centre could generate the needed revenue for the state if resuscitated.
Bonnap said “the Centre trains able and disable youths in leather works, wielding and fabrication, electrical works, home economics, automobile, as well as building.
“We have fabricated a motorised tricycle for disabled persons that can be used both as tricycle or wheel chair.
“Sadly however, we don’t have the funds to mass produce the motorised tricycle in commercial quantity that can be sold to hospitals and persons that need them.’’
According to him, the centre was established in 1974 by a Netherlands-based Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) to teach youths different skills to enable them to be self-reliant and also employ others.
He decried the neglect of the centre, pointing out that machines that were installed by the NGO in 1974 were still the ones being used at the centre in spite of the takeover of the centre by the state government in the 1990s.
Bonnap told Tyoden that “the centre does not have a functional project vehicle to aid its movement and supervision of its other centres in six different local governments of the state.
“We used to have over 200 staff but now we only have 62; the equipment we have are obsolete and funds to even run the centre properly are not available.’’
Mr Obed Dimka, the Chief Production Officer, Science Equipment Production Centre, Jos, also decried the neglect of the centre which was established in 1986.
Dimka said the centre could produce almost all the science equipment for secondary schools in the state but the staff to carry out the task were no available.
“We have only two skilled staff and six unskilled staff, incidentally we have the raw materials but there are no staff to make use of them. (NAN)