From Joseph Amedu Lokoja
Governor Yahaya Bello
The Kogi state government has called on both private sector and spirited individuals in the state to complement government’s effort in promoting vocational education through the establishment of technical schools as well as donation of equipment that would enhance skills acquisition.
The state Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Mrs Rosemary Osikoya, made the appeal last Thursday when representatives of National Business and Technical Examinations Board (NABTEB) visited her in Lokoja.
Osikoya said that the government wanted manufacturing companies such as mining and extractive industries to adopt technical college and donate the needed equipment to train the students on the required skills.
The commissioner added that the society should partner with the government to help the talented individuals who had demonstrated strength and competence in some special skills, stressing that government could not do it alone.
She said: “We are calling on every individual, groups and organisations to donate the necessary equipment, give scholarships to such child who has the technological acumen to turn things around.
“Gov. Yahaya Bello believes in youth empowerment; but this is not a government problem alone, there are companies out there who require a special skilled personnel, which is part of the local content the government is clamoring for”.
The commissioner, however urged the federal government to assist the state in the area of senistisation and awareness, correspondent legal framework and policies on vocational and technical education.
The Registrar of NABTEB, Prof. Ifeoma Isiugo-Abanihe, who was represented by Mrs Ruth Popoola, said that the visit was to collaborate with Kogi Government on the issue of technical and vocational education in the state.
“NABTEB as an examination body, believes that technical and vocational education is the only way forward, where children from secondary school are being given life sustaining skills, and make them to be self-reliant.
“A workable skill that will create wealth and make the students to be self employed and employers of labour. We felt Kogi is central to Nigeria and that is why we are here.
“We appreciate the commissioner and her team for the warm reception and for agreeing to partner with us,” Isiugo-Abanihe said.
Our Correspondent reports that other stakeholders present at the meeting includes: the Exec. Chairman, State Science, Technical Education and Teaching Service Commission (STETSCOM); the Provost, The Nigeria-Korea Friendship Vocational Institute (NKFI), among others.