Ilorin — The World Bank and Kwara State Government have concluded plans to partner in the area of technical and vocational education to create a platform for unemployed youths in the state to be empowered on entrepreneurship and vocational training.
This they said would help in reducing unemployment among youths, thereby making them self-reliant instead of looking for white collar jobs.
A Senior Education Specialist with the World Bank, Dr. Tunde Adekola disclosed this during the World Bank's working visit to the International Vocational, Technical and Entrepreneurship College (IVTEC), Ajase-Ipo.
Adekola, who spoke with journalists shortly after the World Bank team was conducted round the facilities and departments in IVTEC, expressed satisfaction with the facilities at the college, saying that the state government's effort at reforming technical and vocational education is in line with the World Bank's agenda in building human capital development.
He said the visit was to explore opportunities to support the state government in the area of skills development and technical and vocational training.
He said the visit was to return Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed's visit to World Bank sometime last year, when he indicated interest in the areas of technical and vocational training.
Adekola said the World Bank is ready to widen the scope of innovations to improve technical training in Nigeria, particularly in Kwara State with a view to increasing the base of technical and vocational training to accommodate more students that would add more value to the society.
He added that the level of support the bank would give relates with the level of creativity and innovative values the benefitting state had put in place.
"The most important thing is that you don't force development on the people, but the people must make up their minds that they want to develop, and that is what your governor did. We did not come here in the first place, but the governor came to us with a blueprint to set up a centre for excellence in skills development; that is why we are here.
"This visit is to appreciate the governor for his visit to World Bank and it is also a way appreciating the governor for recognising that there is a problem in technical and vocational skills and taking necessary actions to address the problem. Our role is to now partner the government to explore areas in which we can add value and strengthen the government system."
He expressed confidence that the partnership would go a long way in creating jobs for youths in the state.
In her remarks, the Commissioner for Education and Human Capital Development, Hajia Bilikis Oniyangi expressed hope that the World Bank would integrate what it met on ground.
She promised that the state government would do everything possible to put in place public private partnership arrangement to facilitate the quick participation of the World Bank in the vocational and skills development of the college.
The acting Rector of the College, Dr. Ade Somide and Permanent Secretary in the state Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development, Hajia Mariam Garba were among the team that conducted the World Bank representatives round the facilities in the college.