SDC TEAM VISITS THE ABIA STATE EDUCATION FOR EMPLOYMENT (E4E) AGENCY
A team from the Office of the SSA to the Governor on Strategic Development Communication (SDC) on Wednesday (12/02/2020) visited and interacted with the Management of the Abia State Education for Employment (E4E) Agency to acquaint the Agency with the modus operandi of the SDC Unit, with a view to obtaining its performance status report for onward transmission to the Governor. It would be recalled that Governor Ikpeazu recently created the SDC Unit to enhance feedback mechanism in governance processces, mandating the Unit to access relevant information from MDAs and transmit directly to him.
Speaking during the interactive session, Mr. Okezie Ezeigbo who represented the Director-General of the Agency, Mr. Endi Ezengwa, said that Governor Okezie Ikpeazu had set up the E4E Programme in 2015 to demonstrate his firm belief that the long term development of the Abia economy and its sustenance is dependent on the quantity and quality of available labour force, and that Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) holds the key to Abia State’s ability to harness its vast human and natural potentials. According to him, the E4E Agency was therefore established to develop the Human Resource Capital of Abia State and improve the quality of life of Abians by providing education and other relevant support services that will lead to public, private or self-employment.
He informed that the Agency has made remarkable achievements since inception, some of which include: sensitization of the populace – the media, stakeholders like the Aba Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture; National Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI); the Organized Private Sector(OPS); Educational Institutions including Technical and Vocational Education Teachers/Trainers. He said that the Agency has conducted assessments on Secondary and Tertiary institions in the State, Skills Acquisition Centres in the 17 LGAs of the State, as well as commercial farms and also developed Labour Market Information System (LMIS) providing data on supply and demand of labour in the State covering economic, social, demographic and labour force data. Furthermore, he said that in the area of funding, the Agency has attracted a World Bank funding of approximately N400 million (loan) for the Youth Employment and Social Safety Operation (YESSO) and a grant of over N3 billion to reactivate 3 Technical Colleges in Abia State (one in each Senatorial Zone). Mr. Ezeigbo said that the Agency has conducted training of over 500 youth in ICT, profiled 36,000 unemployed youth, partnered with the N-Power Scheme in training over 500 youth in various areas of entreprenuership, and opened discussions with the government of Phillipines on partnership to boost technical education in Abia State.
Mr. Ezeigbo further informed that in the year 2020, the Agency targets to train about 5,000 youth in various trades and equip them with starter packs or facilitate their engagement by the Organized Private Sector. He said that the Innovative Development and Effectiveness in the Acquisition of Skills (IDEAS) Project of the World Bank will kick off in 2020 and three technical colleges in Abia State will be benefiting from the project that will run for four and half years. The schools are: Boys Technical College, Aba; Afara Technical School, Umuahia; and Government Technical College, Ania, Ohafia. He said that each of these schools will be renovated and tastefully equipped with modern technical equipment and the expected outcome of the IDEAS training in the schools is the production of well trained and certified youth that will compete favourably with their peers at the global level. He appealed to the State Government to assist the E4E Agency with adequate funding to enable it deliver comprehensively on its mandate.
The leader of the SDC Team, Mr. Victor Nwokocha who represented the SSA to the Governor on SDC, Hon. Kennedy Onyenma, thanked the Management of Abia State E4E Agency and expressed hope that the Agency would continue to generate cutting-edge ideas towards developing the human resource capital of Abia State.