In what can be described as never-done-before in Nigeria, Sterling Bank Plc, Nigeria’s leading commercial bank partnered with iCreate Africa, founders of Africa’s largest technical and vocational skills competition to host a 2-day regional skills competition in Enugu, the heart of the south eastern states, in a bid to discover and celebrate vocational skills excellence in eastern Nigeria.
According to the organisers, over 80 competitors are participating across 15 categories including bricklaying, plumbing, carpentry, tailoring, make-up artistry, web design among others.
The participants stand a chance to win over N5 million in cash prizes as well to represent Nigeria at the World Skills Competition in Russia.
While speaking at the press conference, Arinze Okeleke, Branch Manager, Sterling Bank in Enugu, said the bank is committed to solving Nigeria’s critical challenges of which unemployment ranks high.
“The skills competition/festival is our way of tackling the increasing wave of unemployment by celebrating and promoting various skill sets that include plumbing, tailoring, tiling, automobile engineering, catering, and hair dressing, among others. This is not just an event or a competition for us, it is an opportunity to nurture and mentor the next generation of technicians and entrepreneurs in the country.”
Frank Nweke, Chairman, Board of advisers for iCreate Africa, commended Sterling Bank for seeing the vision behind iCreate Skills Competition long before other organisations could recognize the value in it and described Sterling as the “Bank of the future”.
The competition continues today and will be culminated in a dinner/award ceremony where winners from the 15-hour long competition will be announced and celebrated.