-From Harrison Akamule:
Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr Umana Okon Umana, has said that the Buhari administration is helping to improve the living standard of many Nigerians by providing them with vocational training in a wide range of marketable skills that cut across ICT, electrical works, agriculture, masonry, and carpentry.
Umana made the statement on Thursday last week at the commissioning of a skills acquisition centre at Abaezi in Oha/Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State.
Built by the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, the skills centre was formally handed over, after the commissioning, to the Federal Polytechnic at Nekede in Owerri, capital of Imo State, to be used as a back-up facility for practical training in technical education.
The skills centre, which ranks as a modern village, complete with landscaping, is made up of an administrative block; technical blocks; a conference building; an ICT centre; a cafeteria; student hostels; a clinic; a ware house/store; a road network; sport facilities; covered drains; a generator house; and a water treatment plant for reticulated water supply.
The facility has the following for staff housing: 4-bedroom detached duplexes; 4-bedroom semi-detached duplexes; blocks of 16 two-bedroom flats; and 2-bedroom semi-detached bungalows.
In a press release signed by Deworitshe Patricia, D (Press & PR ), Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, the Minister said the project was handled by local contractors as a deliberate policy to create jobs for youths in the community and to impart skills. He urged the host community to protect the training facility and guarantee its long-term use.
Sen. Hope Uzodinma, Governor of Imo State, who was represented by the Deputy Governor of the state, Prof. Placid Njoku, expressed the appreciation of the people and government of the state to the Federal Government for the facility and advised the Federal Polytechnic, Nekede, to see the provision of the facility as a further incentive to do more in deepening its reputation as the leading tertiary institution in the country in innovative practical education.
The Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs targets all the nine states of the region with skills centre. Some of the centres have been completed and put to use over the years, while some are at advanced stages of completion. The skills centre in Otuoke, Bayelsa State, was handed over to the Federal University Otuoke for use in 2015.