12th October, 2010
The Port Harcourt City Local Government Area in Rivers has trained more than 300 youthsÂ in various skills and trades.
The Chairman of the council, Chief Azubuike Nmerukini, told the News Agency of NigeriaÂ (NAN) in Port Harcourt yesterday that the youths were trained for more than six months.
He said that they were trained in skills such as welding, carpentry, hair dressing,Â information communication technology, fashion and design.
Nmerukini said the council sponsored the training and had given the trainees some moneyÂ to assist them set up their businesses and train others.
â€œThe aim is to make them self-reliant and thereafter, train others from their communitiesÂ to be self employed.
â€œBefore now, the local government thought it wise that in any society, everybody must notÂ be a pen pusher. In a particular place, we set up what we call skill acquisition centre.
â€œ Today ,we can beat our chest and say that we have trained some people from our localÂ government in various level of skills.
â€œSome of them graduated as computer literates; some of them as electricians and welders;Â and a lot of them have graduated in various fields in Port Harcourt. We are preparingÂ shortly to provide them with some take-off grants,â€ he said.
Nmerukini said work on the councilâ€™s skills acquisition training centre had reachedÂ advanced stage and would be used to train the next batch of trainees.
He said that when completed, the council would save funds to train the youths in-houseÂ and source for resource persons from institutions of higher learning.
â€œWe can afford to employ our own staff and use them as trainers for the youths.
â€œWe are happy with the first batch of trainees who passed out because the programmeÂ touched almost all the communities that make up the council,â€ he added.