Umuahia — Africa's richest man and chairman of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote has partnered the Government of Abia State to fight the scourge of unemployment and enhance human capital development in God's own state.
To achieve the set objectives the chairman of Dangote Group has made available N18.5 million seed money for the establishment of a job centre at Okpuala the headquarters of Isiala Ngwa North Local Government.
Speaking at the ground breaking ceremony for the Dangote Education for Employment (E4E) Job Centre, the renowned industrialist said that the job centre was a demonstration of his interest in human capital development, especially in Abia State.
Dangote, who was represented by the head compensation and benefits of the Dangote Group, Mr. Charles Obera, said that it was high time all well-meaning people, corporate organisations, development partners and Abians in Diaspora to join hands in fighting unemployment.
He said that the job centre should be extended to all the local governments of Abia, adding that it was achievable if individuals and organisations could sponsor the establishment of job centres in the remaining councils.
"The collective effort will enable us to engage the hands and minds of youths of Abia State for productive work," he said, adding, "if we engage them through these initiative, chances are that the population of those willing hands of miscreants will be depopulated."
According to him, if fewer miscreants are available on the streets governments at all levels and the private sector would be better for it as skilled manpower would be readily available to work for the development of Abia and Nigeria in general.
Dangote took interest in solving the problem of unemployment in Abia following his attraction to the Education for Employment (E4E) programme of Abia State governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, which is aimed at providing employment for unemployed youths and manpower for the various industrial concerns in the state.
Deputy governor of Abia, Ude Oko Chukwu, who represented Governor Ikpeazu, said that right from inception the present administration has shown its commitment to drastically reduce unemployment in God's own state.
He said that Ikpeazu has set a target of providing technical and vocational education training to 100,000 unemployed Abia youths "to enable them acquire the necessary skills for self-reliance and wealth creation."
The deputy governor said that it was government's emphasis on technical and vocational education that gave birth to E4E programme launched on September 16, 2015 and which "is currently receiving adequate government attention with the establishment of three pilot schools for training."
He lauded Dangote for providing the seed money of N18.5 million for the establishment of the first job centre named after him, pledging that government "will leave no stone unturned in her efforts to ensure the replication of the job centre in each of the remaining 16 local governments areas in the state."
The coordinator of E4E, Mr. Endi Ezengwa said that for a serious minded businessman of international repute like Dangote to key into the E4E and support the programme has shown that it has attained international standard.
He said that the job centre is a legacy that would outlive the administration of Ikpeazu, adding that the centre would fill the gap between the job seekers and the employers since it would serve as a resource centre.
He explained that every kind of skill would be recorded and matched with available jobs at any point in time so that information on the job market would be easily accessible for both the unemployed and would be employer.
Ezengwa further stated that the job centre would also help in training youths on the proper way of writing their curriculum vitae, interview techniques including dressing and speaking well before a panel of interviewers.