28th December, 2011
Deputy Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Taiwo Kolawole, has urged graduates of higher institutions in Nigeria to ensure that they arm themselves with vocational skills as a way to avoid been jobless.
Kolawole made this call when his HKT Entrepreneur Empowerment Scheme graduated and empowered 318 beneficiaries from his constituency. The scheme trains people on various vocations including thread making, tie-and dye, computer appreciation and engineering, soap and cream making.
It also has an adult school and assist indigent students of the constituency.
The Deputy Speaker, who presented various items like computer sets and other tools to the graduates of the scheme, said he had known right from when he became a lawmaker that he had a task from the people.
â€œWhen you represent poor people, one thing that should cross your mind is how to make them self-reliant. I started with 10 per ward, but today, it has become a very big festival,â€ he said.
Kolwole, who expressed joy and satisfaction that the scheme has benefited a lot of people in the state, added that out of the 318 beneficiaries, 220 women were taught different trades.
To make the foundation have a firm root, he said he has made plans to buy a house which would be used as a library for the youths and as a training ground for students of his computer school.
â€œI donâ€™t engage in training for its sake. We buy all the necessary equipment that they need to start with and this has worked enormously. That is what has motivated me to continue.
â€œI have been calling on the graduates in this constituency to come and pick a trade, but they are not forthcoming. I donâ€™t know why they are shying away from it.
â€œIf we see graduates that say, for instance, that they wants to learn carpentry, we would take them to the best carpentry workshop, because I know that at graduation, their performance as a furniture makers would be better than those of his peers who are illiterate.
â€œSince they are shying away, I would now want to meet with them so we could fashion out ways they would help market the products which are being mass-produced by these women.
â€œThere are no jobs and the government is emphasizing learning of trades instead of producing graduates that would be looking for job,â€ he said.