-By Albert OGRAKA:
The Delta State Investments Development Agency (DIDA) has issued certificates to the first batch of successful technicians trained on the repair and servicing of Keke Bajaj tricycle in Delta state.
250 youths from the state are to benefit from the ongoing Delta State Investment Development Agency (DIDA) and Stallion Auto Keke (SAKL) Training/Empowerment Programme on the repair and servicing of Keke Bajaj tricycle.
At the close of the first batch of training on Thursday, July 21, 2022 at the Skill Acquisition Centr in Asaba, Chairman of Delta State Investments Development Agency (DIDA), Mr. Paul Nmah while delivering his address commended the trainee technicians for their efforts at being certified as authorized auto technicians of Stallion group.
He pointed out that Governor Ifeanyi Okowa had directed that the people must benefit from skill acquisition at all times.
He congratulated the graduands and confirmed that the training was part of the agreements reached by Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa with Stallion Bajaj company, while signing the memorandum of understanding to establish an auto Keke Assembly Plant in the state.
Earlier, the DG DIDA Chief Lucky Oghene- Omoru, explained that in line with the existing partnership between the state government and Stallion group, they are capable to produce vehicles spare parts.
The DG mentioned that Stallion group is one of the biggest conglomerate in Africa and involves in the manufacture on different types of automobiles, rice production, manufacture/production of fertilizers, ICT, chipping, agriculture with head office in Dubai.
He revealed that DIDA attracted the Stallion group to invest in the state, adding that they will operate on a short and medium term plan by establishing automobile production and assembling plants in Okpanam (Oshimili North local government area and Umunede (Ika South local government area respectively for the Production of chassis, engine blocks and other tricycle spare parts.
According to him, “Some months ago, they came to demonstrate the superiority of BAJAJ Keke over other Keke products. It proved that BAJAJ is superior and has stronger spare parts and tricycle brands. And it was felt that if the company was coming to establish in Delta state and manufacture these products, after sales service and maintenance is very key
Therefore in order to ensure durability and sustainability of their products, it was decided that experts should be trained all over the state.
“Therefore you are part of success story of a long journey of automobile revolution in Delta state.”
The state government had approved a discount of 15 per cent for the cost of each Bajaj Keke produced when the plant comes up to encourage the sales and marketing of the products.
He noted that government is already working with the tricycle (Keke) unions in the state where 70 per cent of the beneficiaries of the discount are for indigene including the trainees while 30 per cent will go for resident non-indigenes.
Mr. Smart Ikem Executive Secretary Delta State Pre-Vocational Education Centre thanked trainers and trainees for being involved in the history making investments process in the state.
The Project Coordinator, Mr Peter Okolie, said that the training would hold in five different locations across the state including Warri and Sapele, adding 50 youths would be trained per centre.
According to him, the training began on Monday in Asaba and ended on Thursday with 50 youths participating and equipped with requisite knowledge to handle repairs of Bajaj Keke.
The Stallion Team Leader, Mr John Emmanuel, expressed satisfaction with the ability of the trainees, adding that they had been exposed to various aspects of the automobile and that they are ready for the job.
He said that they had the mastery and could dismantle and assemble the vehicle with ease.
In his remark, Mr Smart Ikem, Executive Secretary, Delta State Vocation Education Centre, enjoined the trainees not to waste the skills acquired but put them to good use.
Some of the beneficiaries expressed thanks to the state government and Stallion group for the training. They promised to become useful to the society in their entrepreneurial training.
In an interview, the duo of Miss Chinyereugo Okonkwo “a graduate” and Johnson Kinsa, “an undergraduate” said they took to the training for their passion in automobile repairs and as alternative to secure their future.
“It is really a privilege to be trained, I have passion for this and love being an engineer, that is what I studied in school, I graduated from Ozoro Polytechnic, Delta.
“After graduating, we all know how the country is now, so, we have to go into handworks and before this training, I have been repairing keke.,” Miss Okonkwo said.
On his part, Kinsa said, “I am a student of University of Calabar, I already have a skill in repairing bike before I entered the university, so, enlisting for this training now that we are on strike is a great advantage.”
The highpoint of the occasion was the presentation of certificates to the graduands.