BY ABAH ADAH, Abuja
The federal government on Friday presented certificates of completion and a starter packs to 99 Nigerian youths selected from states of the federation at the Ajaokuta steel complex in Kogi State, after subjecting them to a 3-week training in 3 key areas of metal work in the maiden edition of the Technical Capacity Building For Nigerian Youths initiated by the Buhari administration.
Congratulating the graduating trainees, the Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Dr Uchechukwu Ogah, who declared the workshop closed, urged them to use the training and capacity acquired to contribute to the development of the iron and steel sector.
Represented by the director, Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining in the ministry, Mr Patrick Ojeka Dr Ogah who, said, “I urge you to utilise and maintain the small token of empowerment package that the ministry provided them.
Speaking to newsmen on the sideline, Ojeka said the training and empowerment was done free of charge by the federal government, adding that the only pay-back expected from the beneficiaries is for them to go and be the fulcrum of wealth and job creation in their various states as they returned.
The take-off pack given each of the outgoing trainees include: welding machine and materials, portable gas-powered furnace, gas cylinder among others.
The beneficiaries were trained in Foundry and Pattern-making Technology; Metal Machining Technology; and Welding and Fabrication Technology.
In his welcome address, the sole administrator, Ajaokuta Steel Company Ltd (ASCL), Engr Sumaila Abdul-Akaba, who was represented by the general manager, Administration, urged the beneficiaries to use the knowledge and skills acquired to go places in life with “hard work and determination”.
Doing an appraisal of the programme, the Head, Metallurgical Training Centre (MTC), Ajaokuta Steel Company Ltd, Engr Salifu Yahaya, explained that for time constraint, the training was streamlined to majoring on basic operational principles and safty of the specific trades.
“To ensure proficiency in practice, other general relevant courses such as such as Basic Metallurgy, Trade Science and calculation, entrepreneurship, Technical drawing, communication skills, and Workshop Practices were made prerequisite in all the courses for the trainees,” he said.
Addressing the gathering on behalf of his outgoing 99 colleagues, the President, Ibeh Ihechukwu Wisdom, thanked President Buhari, the Minister and all other facilitators of the programme for the opportunity.
Aknowledging that a lot of knowledge and practical skill capable of changing their lives was learnt from the workshop, Wisdom promised they would not let the federal government down by working hard to ensure that the aim of initiating and organising the programme is achieved.
The group however urged the federal government to ensure that Ajaokuta steel is fixed immediately in order to unlock its huge employment potentials for Nigerians in addition to boosting the economy.