The Nigerian Ambassador to the Philippines, Her Excellency, Ambassador Abibat Adekunbi Sonaike-Ayodeji commends The Governor of Abia State, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, on the establishment of Abia State Education for Employment (E4E) Agency and encourages him to share this concept with other State Governors.
Speaking at a dinner where she hosted Mr Endi Ezengwa, at her residence in Manila, Philippines, Her Excellency, praised Dr Okezie Ikpeazu for establishing Abia State Education for Employment (E4E) Agency that is providing opportunities for the youths in the State. She encouraged the Governor to share this vision with his peers at Nigerian Governors Forum.
In 2015, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu established Abia State Education for Employment (E4E) programme to harness and maximise the human resource capital base of the State, grow the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector of the economy and improve the State’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
The programme has grown to become an agency and has attracted two World Bank assisted projects to support its objectives.
One of the major objectives of the Agency since 2015, is the development of the State’s Technical Colleges in terms of physical infrastructure, quality of the teachers and adequacy of equipment for training. The Governor’s first intervention was in Boys Technical College, Aba where he fenced the walls, provided a dedicated transformer and restored electricity after seven years. He also refurbished existing buildings and completed new ones.
It is in recognition of all his efforts in this area, that the Federal Ministry of Education through the World Bank decided to support the development of at least three of these colleges to World Class standard through the Innovation Development Effectiveness in the Acquisition of Skills (IDEAS) project.
To ensure best outcomes, the Governor sent Mr Endi Ezengwa, the Director General of Abia State Education for Employment Agency, who is also the Focal Person for IDEAS project to engage the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) of the Philippines. The aim is to establish an exchange programme for the training of technical teachers in other to meet the acute shortage of requisite personnel in Technical Colleges in the State. TESDA is behind the success story of skilled Filipinos meeting various human resource needs of organisations all over the world.
The Nigerian Embassy in the Philippines, acting on the Governor’s request is ensuring that these objectives are met.
Within the context of FARA’s Holistic Empowerment for Livelihoods Program (HELP), a holistic model driven by global partnership to deliver livelihood by leveraging the South-South & Triangular Cooperation (SSTC), the Abia State of Nigeria has pledged to adopt FARA’s Science Agenda for Agriculture in Africa (S3A). This was declared by Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, the Executive Governor of Abia State on 24th September 2019, when Dr. Yemi Akinbamijo, the Executive Director of FARA, paid him an official visit in Umuahia, the capital of Abia State.
During the meeting, FARA offered its network of experts to support the state’s attempt at transforming and diversifying its economy using its Innovation to Impact Pathways, by taking advantage of the entrepreneurial potentials of the state. Receiving a strategy document dubbed ‘Abia Agripreneurs’; developed by FARA, in which strategic commodities (cassava, ugwu, tomato, plantain and poultry) are prioritized for developing an action plan aligned to HELP, Dr. Ikpeazu thanked FARA and pledged to provide all the needed support in implementing the plan. It is expected that the strategy will usher in New Cassava for Economic Development in Abia State (NCEDA) and support the training of at least 150 Abians in FARA’s capacity development program-ARIFA, in the next 3 years.
Thanking FARA for the opportunity, Mr. Endi Ezengwa, the Coordinator of Education for the Employment (E4E) initiative, indicated that the opportunity for partnership with FARA represents one of the converging points in the agricultural sector, where the state already houses the biggest cattle market In Nigeria. This is also the vehicle through which key interventions in Agricultural Research for Development (AR4D) as outlined in this document, may be implemented.
The World Bank has commended Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu on the investment in Education for Employment programme which he initiated upon assuming office in 2015.
The commendation came from a representative of the world body during a workshop held on the 17th of October, 2018 at World Bank head office in Abuja on a new project to be funded by World Bank.
The workshop was organized in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Education which is supervising the new project termed Innovation Development Effectiveness in the Acquisition of Skills (IDEAS), with the main objective of improving the relevance of skills of labour market entrants in both the formal and informal sectors in Nigeria.
Speaking further, he stated that this investment in Education is the reason Abia State has been selected to receive a grant to develop Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) in the State.
At the workshop, Abia State E4E programme and MAFITA project were the selected models for review. Whereas MAFITA is a DFID funded project for Northern states, E4E program was developed and is being funded by Abia state government. It would be recalled that the E4E programme also attracted the World Bank sponsored Youth Employment and Social Support Operation (YESSO) project in the State.
Earlier, Mr. Endi Ezengwa had made a presentation about E4E after which he took questions from the participants. He said that the Abia State government will do more if adequately supported.
He thanked the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) and National Business and Technical Examinations Board (NABTEB) for their continuous support.
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