By Bernard Tolani Dada
The Akwa Ibom State Government has concluded plans to seal a deal with a German technical firm, Bertoni for the establishment of a Mega Skill Development Center to train youths of the state on various vocations.
The State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel, announced this while exchanging views with the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Senator (Mrs) Aisha Alhassan, who called on him at Government House, Uyo.
He said : “We are planning with Bertoni, a technical company in Germany to establish a mega skill acquisition centre to train carpenters, electricians, plumbers and other artisans for quality service delivery” and commended the Federal government’s intention to establish Skill Development Centers in all the thirty one Local Government Areas of the state to train women in various skills saying that the gesture would complement the development agenda of his administration.
Governor Emmanuel who noted that the foundation of every society begins with the development of the girl child said : “to build a society build a home and to build a home, build the woman” added that his administration has adopted measures to develop women as well as protect the girl child through enabling legislation and establishment of Sexual Assult Referral Centre at Immanuel Hospital, to handle rape cases and other forms of child abuse .
He pointed out that the State is yet to benefit from the Home Grown School Feeding Programme of the Federal Government, despite having concluded necessary documentation and called on the Minister to facilitate the commencement of the programme which he said would complement the free and compulsory education initiative of the state administration .
The State Chief Executive used the occasion to call on the Federal Government to reimburse money expended by the state government on federal projects so it could be utilized on other pressing concerns, stressing that the relocation of a major police station and the Uyo prison which are being threatened by gully erosion requires urgent attention.
Earlier, the Minister, Senator Alhassan, said they were in the State to sensitize and advocate on programmes of the Federal Government as well as solicit partnership with the state in it implementation.
She expressed appreciation to the Governor for being at the forefront in the execution of women development programmes and described him as a “a true Champion for Nigerian women” adding, “with what I have seen here, I will not advocate anything but to say, well done and thank you”.
The Minister commended Governor Emmanuel for his ingenuity in the implementation of the Child Rights Acts saying “you have gone far beyond states which were domesticated before you, everything about protecting the rights of children in Akwa Ibom is already on course”.
While requesting for the establishment of skills acquisition centres in all the Local Government Areas of the State to improve the potentials and economic viability of rural women, she assured that at the commencement of the Home Grown School Feeding Programme, women of the state would be engaged in the programme implementation.
She emphasized the need for states to collaborate with Federal Government in the implementation of its programmes noting that such partnership would make the programmes effective, efficient and beneficial to the Nigerian populace.