The centre is owned by an Anglican cleric, Peter Akinola.
A former Defence Minister, Theophilus Danjuma, on Wednesday donated N500million to support a vocational centre in Ogun State.
The beneficiary, Youth Centre for Industrial Training, is located in Abeokuta, the Ogun State Capital. It was
established by the retired Primate of the Anglican Church of Nigeria, Peter Akinola, under the “Peter Akinola Foundation (PAF)” to train unemployed youth to acquire skills in various vocations such as welding, electrical installation, and tailoring so as to be self-sustaining.
Speaking at the 2nd graduation ceremony of the centre, Mr. Danjuma pledged to donate N100million yearly for five years to support the project.
Mr. Danjuma, an indigene of Taraba State, lamented the high rate of unemployment in Nigeria, saying it is a major cause of insecurity in the country.
“Is it not sad to see our teeming youth roaming the streets aimlessly on daily basis because they have no jobs?” he queried.
In his speech, the Anglican Bishop of Asaba, Emeka Mogekwu, who was a Special Guest at the occasion, held at the permanent site of the centre, also expressed great concern about the unemployment situation in the country.
“Unemployment is creating young men and women whose minds are poisoned against the society. This fact has become the greatest cause of insecurity, a situation demanding close attention to the issue of job
creation,” Mr. Mogekwu said.
The cleric said it was unfortunate that the country’s institutions are not producing graduates to meet the manpower needs of a developing country like Nigeria.
“Our early education planners definitely envisioned nothing better than occupying European posts. The technical education policy which laterevolved was meant to produce artisans and middle-level man-power hence the establishment of Trade Centres, Technical Colleges andPolytechnics,” he said.
“But the products of this system were largely despised and underrated vis-à-vis Cambridge school certificate and University degree counterparts. We have seen cases of graduates of Islamic/Arabic studies being given employment in motor-assembly plants.
“Of course, in our present day Nigeria, many clever graduates have become emergencychurch founders and pastors electing themselves Bishops and General Overseers,” he said.
Mr. Mogekwu commended the Peter Akinola Foundation for establishing the vocational centre.
In his speech, Mr. Akinola said he established the vocational centre to contribute his quota to reducing unemployment among youth.
He said the management of the centre was exploring the possibility of affiliating the centre with the City and Guild of London.
Mr. Akinola said among the courses taught were English language, computer appreciation, accounting, and book-keeping; adding that, “all these are added value we give to the students.”
“Our mission is to provide a world class trade centre”, he said, while asking wealthy Nigerians to support the cause.
Meanwhile, 53 students passed out at the graduation ceremony in areas like refrigeration, electrical installation, catering, housekeeping, and Information Communication Technology.
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