The Lagos State government today said it would collaborate with the Aliko Dangote Foundation to establish a technical training centre in the state for the youth.
Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said this during the unveiling of the Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF)-VDMA Technical Training Programme in Victoria Island, Lagos.
Sanwo-Olu said there was need for the technical training programme in the state to ensure employment generation for Lagos youths.
He commended the Aliko Dangote Foundation and its technical partners from Germany, VDMA (which is the German Mechanical Engineering Industry Association) and NWS (the Foundation for Young Talent in Mechanical Engineering) for putting up the technical training programme for young Nigerians.
“I assure you that the Lagos State government will do everything in our power to support you and ensure the success of this programme,” Sanwo-Olu said.
According to him, the output of such a partnership cannot be anything other than transformational for the young people of Nigeria and for the country’s economy.
“This ADF-VDMA Technical Training Programme would empower young Nigerian youths with technical knowledge and skills in the areas of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering.
It is a very welcome intervention in bridging the huge skills gap in our manufacturing workforce.
“While governments at the Federal and State levels are doing a lot to tackle the scourge of unemployment, there is still room for much more to be done.
“This technical training programme will create unprecedented skilling and employment opportunities for Nigerian youth between the ages of 16–24.
“These are youths who possess secondary school certificates and a willingness to learn the theory and practice of mechanical, electrical, electronic and mechatronics engineering,” he said.
The governor said upon completion of the training, the trainees would be able to contribute to societal development, by providing practical skills and solutions to significant technical and industrial challenges facing the country.
He said new jobs would be created, existing ones would see expansion, and a new generation of young people would find professional inspiration and fulfilment.
“This most laudable initiative aligns with our administration’s commitment to youth empowerment through vocational training and support.
“This is the major focus of our Employment Trust Fund (LSETF); the ongoing Graduate Internship Placement Programme (targeting thousands of unemployed graduates and early-career professionals); and several other catalytic initiatives of the Lagos State government.
“We welcome this latest addition to the Capacity-building landscape.
“It is an admirable initiative coming at a most appropriate time, a period demanding urgent and ambitious solutions to the lingering national problems of unemployment and un-employability,” Sanwo-Olu said.
Earlier, the Chairman, Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, said significant skills gaps existed in Nigeria, which was what the technical programme was seeking to address.
Dangote said the larger picture was to create pools of technicians and engineers that would create the dream of industrialising Nigeria and the whole of Africa.
“This landmark programme is a seven-million euro investment, a large percentage of which is for the specialised, leading-edge equipment that has been shipped from Germany and installed in five workshops purpose-built for this programme at Dangote Academy in Obajana.
“The trainees will be trained using these machines, so they can learn practical skills that will be transferable as they enter the work force,” he said.
Dangote said 4,000 applications were received and 120 applicants were selected for the about three-year all-paid technical programme.
Also, the past president of VDMA, Dr. Reinhold Festge, said the skills being acquired through the technical training programme would prepare Nigerian youths for the future.
Festge said Nigerian industries would benefit directly from the partnership between the German organisation and Aliko Dangote Foundation.
He said about 30 German companies had provided state-of-the-art training equipment and support for the project.