Ex –Militants from the Niger Delta have been advised to see skill acquisition and entrepreneurship training as critical to their reintegration and future aspirations. The management of the Federal University of Technology Akure, FUTA, gave the advice during an induction ceremony for 50 ex militants recently enrolled into the certificate course of the
institution’s Centre for Entrepreneurship, CENT.
In his welcome address, the Director of the Centre, Dr. Ayo Olajuyigbe said the Centre identifies with the vision of the Presidential Amnesty Office to explore opportunities available for the teeming youth to make them self reliant since capacity development is critical to the radical transformation of the Niger Delta Region of the country. He said FUTA,
through the Centre, entered into an agreement with the Presidential Amnesty Office to train 50 ex-agitators from the Niger Delta region for a period of nine months in Welding/Metal Fabrication. The training, according to Dr. Olajuyigbe will also involve “mindset change component and classes in entrepreneurship development” that will encourage job creation and value re-orientation.
Speaking further, Dr. Olajuyigbe said, “FUTA offers trainings comparable to those obtainable in South Africa, Europe, USA, Canada, Asia and the Far East where most of the youth from the Niger Delta are currently being trained”. Making a cost comparison, he said “No doubt, the adoption of our Centre will be less expensive for the Presidential Amnesty Office thereby affording opportunities for more youths to be trained”. Dr. Olajuyigbe further said that for CENT to achieve its goals, it has established several linkages with government and agencies of government like Industrial Training Fund (ITF), National Directorate of Employment and Bank of Industry (BoI) to ensure that trainees are adequately exposed to available emerging business opportunities.
In his address, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Adebiyi Daramola, represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Professor Adedayo Fasakin said FUTA ranks among the best faculty of trainers in all the areas and discipline which the institution has ventured into and that informed the choice of the Centre for Entrepreneurship (CENT) by the Amnesty Office as one of the designated training Centers. He said CENT is also a leading partner in the Ondo State Graduate Conversion Programme, serving as the secretariat to co-ordinate other mini centers in the State.
Addressing the trainees, he said, “It is no longer news that many ex-agitators were repatriated from their training bases overseas and reprimanded for poor conduct during their training
programmes. In that regard, I urge each of you to be open to learn, unlearn and relearn through the Centre’s technical, structural and cultural training process”. He also assured them that FUTA’s CENT will offer them the best training obtainable in the world. He said the new skill they will acquire and the entrepreneurship component will give them a new lease of life and position them to contribute to the development of the Niger Delta and Nigeria.
Expressing their delight through Mone Friday, the ex-agitators praised former President Umar Musa Yar Adua for birthing the amnesty programme and Dr Goodluck Jonathan for the tenacity of purpose in the pursuit of its objectives. They appealed to those carrying arms
to drop the arms, embrace peace so that Nigeria can move forward. They also promise
to make the best use of the opportunity FUTA is offering them through the training.