Former Nigerian militants acquire employable skills in Ghana

Two hundred and ninety-seven former militants granted Nigerian Amnesty on Thursday graduated from the Ghana National Vocational Training Institute (NVTI) training on welding and fabrication skills.

The eight-month training equipped the former militants from the Niger Delta area under Nigeria’s Amnesty last year.

Nigerian High Commissioner to Ghana, Mr Muhammed Musiliu Obanikoro explained that the trainees voluntarily decided and availed themselves to under-go the training to empower themselves with new skills to contribute towards national development in Nigeria.

He reaffirmed the Nigerian Government’s support to end youth restiveness through economic empowerment and job creation, adding “It is in this regard that NVTI was selected to impart practical and useful skills to these youth and prepare them for a promising future”.

Mr Obanikoro commended the trainees for the courage demonstrated in confronting the future and the resilience in coping with their new communities during their period of rehabilitation.

He expressed gratitude to Ghana Government for the support and understanding with the Nigerian Government towards implementation of the Amnesty.

“Without your cooperation, my country would not have found a suitable environment away from the natural habitats of these youths for their transformation and rehabilitation as required by UN Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) regulations for former combatants,” he added.

Mr Antwi Boasiako Sekyere, Deputy Minister of Employment and Social Welfare, said at the beginning of the training, there were some disturbing developments, which threatened its successful take-off but the training went on smoothly due to the goodwill and tenacity of purpose of all the stakeholders.

He noted that lack of employment opportunities for the youth stemmed from the fact that they had failed to open their eyes to the wide variety of opportunities available after vocational training.

Mr Sekyere said this had led to high unemployment rate prevailing in Ghana and Nigeria in the midst of many job opportunities because the youth lacked the skills required by employers.

He announced that the Ministry was determined to change this state of affairs by introducing innovative interventions such as Local Enterprises and Skills Development Programme (LESDEP) to empower the youth with employable skills after which they could be self-employed.

Mr Sekyere urged the Nigerian Government to consider post-training care# for them back home to achieve their full potential.

Mr Kingsley Kuku, Special Advisor to the Nigerian President on Niger Delta Affairs advised them not to allow themselves to be used by politicians, businessmen and community leaders to cause problems in the society.

He assured them that the best the government could do for them was to equip them with skills, formal education and support them with set of tools to begin their own businesses.

Mr Stephen Amponsah, Director of NVTI, said the first batch of 297 had intensive training in welding and fabrication skills leading to the award of Trade Test Proficiency II.

He said the training entailed 80 per cent practical and 20 per cent theory, and in addition to the welding and fabrication, some of them were offered information and communication technology, mathematics, English language and entrepreneurial skills.

Mr Oti Ighosuhe, Leader of the Amnesty trainees appealed to the Nigerian Government and the private sector to employ them for the full utilisation of the knowledge acquired.

“Job creation and training schemes for youths would enable them to be industrious and self-employed because an industrious economy is a rich economy.”

He said a jobless and unemployed youth remained a restive youth and no community or country could develop amidst young and uneducated youths.

The NVTI entered into an agreement with the Nigerian Government through Learning Resources Limited, a training consultancy company to train about 1,000 Nigerians who were former militants from the Niger Delta area under amnesty last year.

Some of the items exhibited were metal beds, stoves, coal pot, and shoe racks.

Source: GNA

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