The programme tagged ‘the Fidelity Youth Empowerment Academy’ was meant to train the students on enterprise and skills in partnership with Gazzelle Academy Vocational Centre at the Rivers State University, Port Harcourt.
Declaring the training open, the wife of the Governor, Justice Suzzette Nyesom-Wike, noted that the programme came at a time the country is laying emphasis on diversifying the economy.
The governor’s wife, who was represented by the Commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs. Ukel Oyaghiri, said the country is shifting attention away from mere academic qualification to skills.
She advised the students to take the training seriously so as to become employers of labour when they graduate.
“One week will not be enough to completely learn new skills but if you address your minds and energy towards that and put in extra effort and be creative, then this is a life-changing programme.
“This one-week training can change your live and make you an employer of labour, even while you are still in the university. You have come to change your destiny; use the opportunity.”
She thanked the partners for coming up with such project, which would make the youths self-employed even before graduation.
In his remarks, the Vice-Chancellor of the institution, Professor Blessing Didia, said gone were the days when students graduate from the university and rely solely on seeking for employment.
He said the university has already directed the construction of a centre for entrepreneurship development to prepare the students on how to use their talents.
Didia encouraged Nigerian youths to learn trades before they graduate from higher institutions, saying that with such skills, they become employers of labour immediately after graduation.
The Managing Director of Fidelity Bank, Nnamdi Okonkwo, said the bank, in partnership with Gazelle Academy has already trained more than 1,000 youths on enterprise skills in three high institutions across the country.
Okonkwo, who was represented by the Regional Head, Rivers and Bayelsa States, Mrs. Evelyn Kanu, said the beneficiaries were from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka; Federal Polytechnic, Gombe; and Federal Polytechnic, Oko.
He said the training programme was part of the bank’s way of impacting the society, and urged the students to take the training seriously.
“This is our own way of impacting society: to add to the youths’ education; to empower the youths with skills that will help them earn money irrespective of their courses of study.”
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