Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, has performed the ground-breaking ceremony of the Dangote Education for employment (E4E) job centre at Okpuala in Isiala Ngwa North Local Government Area of the state.
The pilot project which is to be fully funded by Dangote Group, led by Alhaji Aliko Dangote, is aimed at providing a digital one-stop-shop for job seekers with services that include free employment consultancy.
Speaking at the event, Ikpeazu, who was represented by his deputy, Rt. Hon. Ude Oko Chukwu, applauded the Dangote group for selecting Abia State as one of the pioneer states for the corporate social responsibility project and called on other corporate organisations to emulate the group in giving back to the society.
He pointed out that his administration’s pledge to offer technical and vocational education training to 100,000 youths in the state has been given further boost with the project embarked upon by the Dangote Group.
“When we launched the E4E project we started by profiling unemployed youths in the state and created a database that identified their employment needs and then moved further to train the first batch to acquire relevant skills required by employers as well as the skills that will enable others to be self-employed. With the expected realisation of this job centre project we should be able to acquire additional capacity to place them and others who wish to be gainfully engaged.
“Our administration views job creation and skills development as necessary ingredients for our integrated economic development agenda as availability of relevant skill sets in our environment will naturally lead to more investment and further reduction in unemployment related criminal activities,” he said.
The governor promised not to leave any stone unturned in the effort to train and engage as many Abians as are willing to work, assuring that the new job centre facility will be replicated across the remaining 16 LGAs of the state.
He reiterated state government’s willingness to partner with private and public sector organisations for the common good of Abians and Nigerians in general.
In his address, the Chairman of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, who was represented by the Head of Compensation Benefits, Dangote Cement Plc, Mr. Charles Obera, said the job centre project is a demonstration of the commitment of the group towards human capital development in Nigeria and Abia State in particular and urged other corporate organisations, development partners and well-meaning Abians to rally round Governor Okezie Ikpeazu to support his “numerous laudable initiatives aimed at retraining the youths of the state by sponsoring at least one of the remaining 16 E4E Job Centres planned for other local governments areas of the state”.
The State Coordinator of the E4E programme, Chief Endi Ezengwa, stated that the setting up of job centers of international standard and the E4E programme are major development initiatives conceived and championed by Governor Ikpeazu from day one of his administration.