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900 youths benefits from NDE skills training exercise in C’River

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By Joseph Kingston, Calabar

No fewer than 900 youths from across the eighteen local government areas of Cross River state are benefiting from the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) vocational skill development programme.

The NDE Director General, Dr Nasiru Ladan Argungu, who flagged off the programme in Calabar at the weekend, said 50 youths were recruited from each of the 18 council areas of the State.

Argungu explained that the informal sector contributes significantly to the growth of every nation’s economy and that the sector plays the role of stimulating the economy, promoting flexible labour markets and stimulating productive activities, amongst others.

“It is important to explain here that in this year training, 50 unemployed youths are being recruited per local government of Cross River’s 18 LGAs to be trained in skills that are trending in their locality. This includes fashion design, hair dressing, fabrication, welding etc, it is my hope that those trained would put in all that is needed on their part to make the exercise a success,” he stated.

The NDE also empowered100 trainees in agricultural skills in Ikom local government area of the State, under its Sustainable Agricultural Development Training Scheme (SADTS), saying it was doing so to turn them to commercial farmers, create more jobs, provide adequate and dependable farm income and also reduce commodity importation as well as conserve external reserve.

The Director General, who was represented by Sylvester Ekemhonye, said the exercise was taking place in the 36 states of the federation but warned that “the NDE of today has zero tolerance for corruption and will not entertain any indulgence from staff,” but added that hard work and diligent would be rewarded.

In his remarks, the Cross River state Coordinator of NDE, Gabriel Udam, said the Basic Open National Apprenticeship Scheme of the NDE in 2020 was aimed at curbing unemployment scourge in the Nigerian society.

“I am particularly delighted because we are having a gathering of Nigerians from all fields of endeavour united for a common goal, which is to ameliorate unemployment,” he stated, and enjoined beneficiaries to justify the federal government investment in the exercise.

He also explained that empowering 100 youths in agriculture was to increase mass production of agricultural products and that the concept was born out of the desire of the federal government to ensure that unemployed youths of the country were exposed to the heights of self reliance through agric-production, marketing and storage.

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