By Chioma Iruke
The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has handed over to the relevant body, the ultra-modern Woodwork and Carpentry workshops it renovated and upgraded at the Government Technical College, (GTC) Abak, Akwa lbom State.
The commissioning of the facility was performed by the Governor of Akwa lbom State, Mr. Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem and the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote.
In his address, the Executive Secretary disclosed that NCDMB invests in the rehabilitation of Technical and Vocational Education and Training Institutions, (TVETs) because they provide platforms for job creation and self-empowerment.
He added that the development of skilled technicians drives the socio-economic growth aspirations of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration and engages youths in productive ventures.
He emphasized the need to provide high quality manpower training and skills development for the teeming youths in the country, which was why the Board undertook a study on TVETs in Akwa lbom, Bayelsa and Rivers states to understand the factors militating against the optimal performance of those institutions.
He mentioned that the Board had finalized plans for the implementation of a public-private collaboration with the Akwa lbom State Government, and a specialist modern furniture production firm, owned and managed by an indigene of the Abak community, in which a certain percentage of the proceeds will be ploughed back for the operational maintenance of the facilities to achieve self-sustenance.
Wabote commended the Abak community and Akwa lbom State Government for their cooperation in actualizing the projects, stating that the Board’s decision to have earmarked GTC Abak as one of the flagship beneficiaries of its institutional upgrade program, was not an effort in futility.
He thanked all stakeholders for the zero-incidence recorded and the unparalleled hospitality the Abak community extended to the contractors and personnel.
In his remarks, the Governor commended the Board for partnering with the state to renovate and upgrade the technical facility to create job opportunities for skilled manpower, which illustrates patriotism and commitment to national development.
He asserted that the project was in line with the administration’s industrialization policy of taking youths off the street through efficient skills acquisition and empowerment, and an incubation process of converting these skills into entrepreneurial gains and self-reliance.
The Executive Chairman, Akwa lbom State Technical Schools Board, (ASTEB), Elder Godwin Udom also stated that the cardinal objective of technical schools is to train persons in diverse practical fields, adding that such schools need standard and well-equipped workshops with specialized instructors in different trade areas.
Elder Udom expressed gratitude to NCDMB for the project, noting that the project which commenced on January 27, 2019 is now ready for the students to acquire modern skills in furniture making and for the staff to update their knowledge and also assist the unemployed in the community.