RECENTLY, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) disclosed that Anambra State is the least state in Nigeria with lowest rate of unemployment. Out of the total working population of 2.25 million people in the state, the agency maintained that only 13.1 per cent are unemployed.
This great feat was not easily achieved except through the untiring efforts of Governor Willie Obiano, who has vowed to invest more in human capital development to continue to strengthen its efforts at providing an enabling environment for the citizens of the state at large and the youths in particular. Anambra has succeeded in training or grooming people in different skills using best technological approaches.
In 2015, Gov. Obiano inaugurated business incubation training for practicing and aspiring entrepreneurs. This is an offshoot of One Youth, One Skill Programme, aimed at making youths to be economically self-reliant. While kick-starting this initiative, the governor said that his administration was working out plans with the World Bank to help the trainees have easy access to loans. According to Obiano, the indices for measuring development in the near future will no longer be essentially about physical infrastructure but about quality of the human capital development.
“Investing in human resources and empowerments of youths would solve major societal problems, especially in this era of technology. Human intellect and the quality of human thought would soon become the differentiator between societies, the gov. posited.
In 2018, the state finalised arrangement to ensure empowerment of 10,000 youths annually. This implies that by 2022, when the administration of the present government would wind up, the state must have empowered 40,000 youths. As words matched with action, the state took off with training of 500 youths at the Technology Incubation Centre, Nnewi. 350 youths were also trained on various entrepreneurial skills such as; aluminium, solar power, PVC ceiling installation, confectionery, event management, computer software application, POP, tilling, screening, interlocking, cosmetology, among others. 1000 youths were equally groomed in bee-keeping and honey production as the state aimed to rank among the top three states in Nigeria in the production of honey. No doubt, the initiative will redirect the youths away from crime and other social vices as well as offer Anambra youths a clear competitive advantage and place them in a better position to lead the future effectively.
However, it is quite illogical to expect development in a society where its members are underdeveloped. It is seen as foolishness if a person walks with one leg when he has the ability to walk with his two legs. When potential is not properly nurtured and maximised, growth is stunted. This is a concept that the Government of Anambra State has accepted whole heartedly and has made headway in the right direction. The state government is totally committed to improving the living standards of the citizenry, especially youths, who had shown interest in their economic development. Right from inception, it has not rested on its oars as regards human development in all ramifications.
The Obiano-led government is one with great foresight, setting up skill gaining initiatives with so much fervor. The world is fast becoming where just a degree can’t cut it. Then again, the pandemic has also fast paced a development such that white collar jobs are not in vogue anymore. Since 2015 till date, a lot of skill gaining initiatives have been launched and completed. Other examples included the Udokanma Handwork initiative, Digipreneur initiative. Even educated adults are not left out as 10,000 teachers were put through training on Information and Communication Technology to combat cyber –crime.
These initiatives are very advantageous to the citizenry as most often beneficiaries are school dropouts, hawkers, street boys and other vulnerable members of the public. When such members are empowered to work, development is the resultant effect. Just as Miss Chika Onyedibe and Mr. Nkenke Nnatu, beneficiaries of the ‘One Youth, One Skill’ initiative noted while appreciating the opportunity given to them, “it will not only make us self-reliant but as well, help us to empower others”.
Interestingly, initiatives such as the Digipreneur Week, a major event of the Digipreneur Hub won special recognition award at the ‘2019 Unsung Heroes’ Awards. The Obiano-led administration really understands that no knowledge is a waste no matter how obscure it is.
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