Nigeria: Edo Partners Oxfam, Siemens, Others On Youth Empowerment

24 January 2020

Benin City — The Edo State Skills Development Agency also known as EdoJobs in collaboration with Oxfam, Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Siemens, Market Development in Niger Delta (MADE) and Coven Labs has trained and empowered 29,269 youths across the 18 Local Government Areas of Edo State.

The Managing Director of EdoJobs, Mrs. Ukinebo Dare, who disclosed this in a chat with journalists, noted that the agency was looking to surpass Governor Godwin Obaseki's promise to create 200,000 jobs at the end of his first term in office.

The youths were trained on various skills including solar system design and installation, digital skills and marketing, web design and graphics, GSM and laptop repair, automobile engineering, POP tiling and paint production, Fashion and beauty, food production and sales, among others.

Some of the startups at the Edo Innovation Hub and the Edo Production Center also got seed support to the tune of N50 million from the different partners.

Other partnering organisations included Slot Foundation, Micliz Paint Industry Ltd, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbei (GIZ) and the Genius Hub Global, among others.

The participants were also provided with stipends, starter packs and business support packages, while several others were matched to employers for internship and employment after the training programmes.

According to Dare, while 161 youths were trained in the Edo Production Centre, 1376 were trained by Edo Food and Agriculture Cluster (EdoFAC) and 27,732 at the Edo Innovation Hub.

She noted that the agency would intensify partnerships with more multinational companies for bespoke trainings in technology, innovation and solution-focused empowerment programmes in 2020.

"EdoJobs is focused on impacting lives through various entrepreneurial programmes geared towards business inclined empowerment for Edo State residents. In line with the vision of the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration, the agency is committed to improving the lives of Edo people. This we have been doing in the last three years.

"We will be having a loaded 2020 as we plan to strengthen partnership with local and international partners to ensure that we surpass the governor's target to create more than 200,000 jobs at the end of his first term in office."

She said skill acquisition and entrepreneurship development programmes were opportunities for more youths to gain sellable skills that would make them stand out as entrepreneurs and employers of labour.

She added, "Entrepreneurship development will further address the problem of poverty, hunger, unemployment, and ever-rising criminality among youths in Edo State. Some of the programmes we are working on also target migrant returnees.

"The training programmes include theoretical and practical aspects aimed at equipping youths with the right skill set to earn a living from their choice of endeavours.

"The EdoJobs has continued to lead extensive skills development programmes across the state in furtherance of the Governor Godwin Obaseki -led administration's vision to tackle the high rate of unemployment in Edo State through trainings and empowerment programmes."

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