By G9ija

About 10,000 youths have been trained since 2010, when the Nigeria Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), was established.

The Executive Secretary of the Board, Simbi Wabote, who disclosed this in Abuja, at the kick-off of training of another 225 youths, explained that the beneficiaries were selected from the Board’s NOGIC-JQS platform, with representation from the six geo-political zones of the country. 

He said: “From the inception of the Board in 2010, over 9,000 Nigerians have benefitted from our training in various skill areas for graduates and artisans resulting in over 10 million training man-hours.” 

Wabote also said the Board is partnering with the ITF, to tutor 255 Nigerian youths in nine vocational skills. 

The six months training is being funded by the NCDMB and will be conducted by the ITF, covering classroom and intensive practical exercises in hospitality and tourism, mobile phone repairs and troubleshooting, Information and Communication Technology, Electrical/Electronic Technology, and Industrial Automation and Mechatronics. 

Other areas include Instrumentation and Process Control, Mechanical Services & Maintenance, Residential Air-Conditioning, and Refrigeration Maintenance, and Building Technology.

In selecting the trainees, Wabote highlighted that the selection exercise was also organised for those involved in computer-based tests and oral interviews in Abuja, Lagos, and Port Harcourt.

He affirmed that the initiative was consistent with the objectives of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act, and NCDMB’s 10-Year Strategic Roadmap, targeted at growing Nigerian Content from 27 percent in 2017 to 70 percent by 2027. 

The Roadmap also aspires to retain over $14billion of the $20billion estimated annual industry spend in-country, and create over 300,000 direct and indirect employment.  

He revealed that the intent of the NCDMB/ITF collaboration is to close the gaps in vocational and entrepreneurship skills among Nigerian youths, drive self-employment and value creation in the oil and gas industry and linkage sectors, and address youths’ redundancy and loss of economic value of human capital needed to drive economic growth.

He stressed that part of the goal is also to complement the Federal Government`s commitments and efforts towards job creation and diversification of the Nigerian economy.

He assured that NCDMB will continue its training intervention and was widening its coverage to vocational and entrepreneurship skills, which are critical to the employment creation, sustainable growth and economic diversification. 

In her remarks, the Minister of State, Industry, Trade and Investment, Amb. Mariam Katagum, said the event underscored the Federal Government’s commitment towards improving the economy and livelihood by equipping the Nigerian youth with requisite skills for entrepreneurship and employability, despite the negative effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

She urged the trainees to seize the privileged opportunity and use the skills they will acquire to not only put food on their table but to meaningfully contribute to economic growth. 

On his part, the Director-General of ITF, Joseph Ari, commended the NCDMB for its numerous skills programmes that have empowered thousands of Nigerians with cutting-edge skills for employability and entrepreneurship.

He hinted that the enormous challenges posed by unemployment and poverty in the country can only be tackled successfully through the collaborative efforts of agencies and organisations.