By Patrick Ochoga, Benin City
Former Edo state Governorship aspirant under the platform of the People’s Democratic Party, (PDP) Barrister Kenneth Imansuangbon, weekend challenged corporate bodies, groups and individual to invest in skill acquisition centres aimed at providing vocational training for teeming unemployed youths in Nigeria.
Imansuagbon who also commended Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo state for taking the lead “in ensuring that the youths of the state are engaged in productive ventures by provision of skills and vocational centres in the state, added that gone are days when government alone provide jobs.
The foremost educationist popularly known as the ‘riceman’ for his yearly free rice distribution state this on the occasion of the graduation ceremony of the Centre for Edo Delta Development Initiative, (CEDDI) held in Benin City.
According to Barrister Imansuangbon, who was the chairman of the event, “the situation of unemployment in this country and around the world is worrisome; therefore any initiative to keep our people off the street should ordinarily be supported by well-meaning individuals.
“I am informed that CEDDI Skills Acquisition Centre & Diabetic Care Clinic started as an itinerant concept where healthcare and vocational skills such as Cosmetology, Catering, Beauty care etc are brought to the doorstep of the people who are among the not-so-privileged.
“This idea was a response to the pervasive problem of poverty, hunger, joblessness and sickness among the people.
“This initiative has grown since the last nine years with several landmark achievements and expenditure running to over N500 million.
“I am very proud of our father, the Iyase of Benin, Chief Dr Sam Udiyinwe Igbe (MON), and other members of the board, partners and friends of CEDDI Skills Acquisition Centre and Diabetic Clinic, who have kept the dream of this initiative alive.
“Through this initiative, thousands of our people have been given livelihood skills and empowered to set up their own businesses, as well as the Diabetic Clinic which is the first of it’s kind in the country.”
Going further, Barrister Imansuangbon stated: “This private initiative, I must say, is also in line with the desire of His Excellency, Governor Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki, in ensuring that the youths of the state are engaged in productive ventures by provision of skills and vocational centres in the state.
“I want to encourage our graduants to take advantage of these opportunities provided by CEDDI to better their lives. After one year of training, today is the day many of you have been looking forward to and I am sure you will not be disappointed.
“I must thank the Governor, His Excellency, Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki, for creating this enabling environment for this initiative to strive. I want to call on other Edo State stakeholders to take a cue from this initiative from our Governor Godwin Obaseki and our father, Chief Sam Igbe.”
In his speech, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Marcus Onobun, assured that the legislature would always be supportive of the programme whenever the need arises.
In his welcome address, the initiator of the programme, Chief Sam Igbe, urged the graduants to always keep the flag flying by ensuring that they put to good use all that they learnt in the course of undergoing the training.
Barrister Imansuangbon supported the Skills Acquisition Programme with N1,000,000(One million naira).
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