As part of its youth empowerment and human capacity-building initiatives, the board organized a six-month training program in Calabar, Bekearra, and Ogoja.
Mr Abdulmalik Halilu, the Director of Planning, Research and Statistics at NCDMB, explained that the aim of the program was to create employment opportunities, generate wealth, and enable the youths to contribute to the nation’s economy.
Halilu emphasized the importance of technology, skill acquisition in trades, and agriculture as high-impact economic sectors.
He stated, “The lack of reliable electricity is a major challenge affecting the quality of life for citizens and the success of businesses in Nigeria and Africa. This is why there is a growing demand for renewable energy solutions to become a significant part of the energy mix.
“Considering that Nigeria enjoys abundant sunlight, it is important for Nigerians to prepare themselves for opportunities in the renewable energy space.”
Halilu noted that the training in solar power installation and maintenance not only provides an alternative source of power for homes and offices but also supports the national power grid and creates job opportunities for the youths.
He added, “As part of the end-to-end planning for the program, the board has registered cooperative societies for the group and provided shops where they can practice their trades.”
“The trainees will now commence business as cooperatives, as we have also provided them with shops. This empowerment program aims to provide lifelong support to empowered youths in high-impact economic sectors, including oil and gas, information and communication technology, agriculture, construction, and others.”
Expressing confidence in the graduates’ abilities, Halilu commended the facilitators and the trainees. He stated, “I am confident that these graduates are talented individuals equipped with the capacities and capabilities to troubleshoot issues, offer solutions, and assemble, install, and maintain solar projects that are currently heavily reliant on imports.”
He urged Nigerian youths to take advantage of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Joint Qualification System, as it is used to select participants for human capacity-building interventions and employment opportunities whenever they arise.
In a goodwill address, Rt. Hon. Legor Idagbo, the immediate past Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring, represented by Mr. Ted Inyang, commended NCDMB for training youths in Cross River State. Idagbo congratulated the trainees and noted that energy transition is set to become the new norm for Nigerians.
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