The Nigerian Government is to empower youths with multiple skills acquisition programmes as part of efforts to stem unemployment and promote national development.
Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu disclosed this when he received a delegation comprising the South Korean Ambassador to Nigeria, Nigerian Institute of Welding and Samsung Heavy Industries in Abuja, Nigeria.
Dr. Onu said that, in line with the Executive Order 5 which was initiated by the Ministry, Government would stimulate skills and manufacturing sector to enable it contribute significantly to the Gross Domestic Product, GDP of the nation.
He further said that welding skills is important to the development of Nigeria’s manufacturing sector.
“Welding is vital to all sectors of our economy, such as underwater welding which is important to the maritime economy,” he stressed.
The Minister assured the delegation that his Ministry would work closely with the Institute of Welding and Samsung Heavy Industries to ensure that many youths are coopted by the institute to acquire needed skills, to develop their potentials.
“With the acquisition of useful skills, Nigerian youths would be motivated to export their knowledge to other parts of the world, thereby earning foreign exchange for the country,” he said.
Dr. Onu urged the Institute of Welding to pursue excellence when certifying and training young Nigerians and ensure that certification issued to participants are merited.
He commended the business acumen of Samsung Heavy Industries in Nigeria and urged the firm to diversify its investment in the country,.
The Minister promised that government would continue to support legitimate investment.
He also extolled the historic and warm relationship between Nigeria and South Korea, pointing out the progress and landmark strides achieved by South Korea due to the priority accorded to Science, Technology and Innovation.
The President, Nigerian Institute of Welding, Dr. Solomon Edebiri, said his Institute has set in motion a national welding capability plan that would regulate welding practice in the nation, issue license for welding and also awarded national certification to competent workmen at various levels.
Mr Edebiri further revealed that his Institute and Samsung Heavy Industries were collaborating to organise a National Welding Competition and prepare the best participant for the World Skills competition in 2021.
He said ”the collaboration and subsequent skills competition will expose Nigeria as a skill’s conscious nation.”
Mr Edebiri highlighted the importance of skills in achieving economic growth and inspire Nigerian youths to show interest in skill acquisition.
The South Korean Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Tae Lee, stated that the cooperation would help expose young Nigerians to gain global skills for national and economic development.
Mr Lee, said that ”over 600 Nigerians have been trained in the process and the South Korean government, is ready to support the best participants of the welding skills competition.”
Also the Managing Director of Samsung Heavy Industries in Nigeria, Mr. Jegin Jean said his company has been doing business in Nigeria since 2012 with an initial capital investment of $300 million Dollars.
He solicited the support of the government to ensure the success of the National Welding Skills Competition.
Source: Voice of Nigeria