The Abia State Steering Committee (SSC) on the Innovation Development Effectiveness in the Acquisition of Skills (IDEAS) programmme has been inaugurated by the State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu to mark the commencement of the World Bank Assisted IDEAS programme in the State.
He observed that the E4E programme had since been upgraded to become an Agency following the good results it posted adding that through the Agency, he had embarked on the development of the State’s Technical Colleges in terms of physical infrastructure, quality of the teachers and adequacy of equipment for training.
According to the State Chief Executive, his first intervention, was in Boys Technical College, Aba where he secured the premises by fencing the walls, provided a dedicated transformer and restored electricity after seven years as well as refurbished existing buildings and completed new ones.
He maintained that among the positive returns of the Youth Employment and Social Support Operation (YESSO) programme of the World Bank and her selection by Federal Ministry of Education to benefit from Innovation Development Effectiveness in the Acquisition of Skills (IDEAS) Project – a World Bank assisted grant to complete the vision of his administration in this regard as well as develop the informal sector of the economy of the State in partnership with the Organised Private Sector (OPS) where Aba Chamber of Commerce will provide the private sector input in the Project.
The Governor said the Collaboration has helped us secure assistance to build the technical colleges and that the Steering Committee has become necessary in order to access the fund as parties must participate to ensure to the implementation of full programmme.
The Committee has the Honorable Commissioner for Education, Dr. K.C.K. Nwangwa as Chairman, other members include: Sir Lawrence Obetta (President of ACCIMA), Mr Nwankpa. O.C, Chief J.C. Ezebuiro, Barrister Okey Ogbonna, Engr. Cletus Ekpo, James Onwukwe, Okezie B. Ezeigbo.
Responding on behalf of other members, the Commissioner for Education, Dr. Kanelechi C.K Nwangwa, while thanking the Governor for the opportunity to serve the State, said that they had accepted the responsibilities with all sense of humility.
At the inauguration ceremony were the Commissioners for Special Duties Joint Project, Chief John J. Okoro, Housing, Hon. Ugboaja Theophilus and that if Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu, Director General, Education for Employment programmme, Mr. Endi Ezengwa, Senior Special Assistant to the Governor (New Media & Publicity), Mr Ubani Newman Ubani among other top Government functionaries.
The CEO of Kiara College and Director General of Abia State Education for Employment (E4E) Agency, Endi Ezengwa had the opportunity of representing the Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu at the ongoing Paris International Agriculture Show 2020 - A massive annual event that showcases various businesses in Agriculture.
The State's interests in Agriculture are being discussed. Equally on the table is the management of the abundant human resource capital of the State through investments in Agriculture (as it is the highest employer of labour).
Effective engagement of the youths will minimise their desire for migration.
In 2015, shortly after his inauguration, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu established Abia State Education for Employment (E4E) programme to manage the Human Resource Capital of Abia State; providing competent skilled workforce to support the industrial base of the State and indirectly increase its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
To ensure sustainability, the Governor, through the E4E programme started developing 3 technical colleges - one in each senatorial zone. The colleges chosen were; Boys Technical College, Aba, Secondary Technical School, Afara, Umuahia and Government Technical College, Ania Ohafia.
In recognition of his efforts in Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) in the State, the Federal Ministry of Education, assisted by the World Bank has provided a grant to enable the Governor complete the task he began in 2015. The project is called Innovation Development and Effectiveness in the Acquisition of Skills (IDEAS). It will commence this year and has a duration of five and half years.
For the pilot project, 6 States were chosen from the 6 geopolitical zones of Nigeria. Abia State is representing the South East. The 4 main components of the project are:
1. Partnership with the Industry for labour market orientation of public Technical Colleges;
2. Improved skills formation in the Informal Sector;
3. Increased availability of competent and motivated technical teachers and instructors; and
4. Strengthened regulatory environment and public management capacities.
A 2-day workshop was held by the Federal Ministry of Education in partnership with the World Bank on the 13th - 15th of January 2020 to progress this matter. Abia State was represented by the Principals of the 3 colleges, the Project Coordinator, one industry partner and the State Focal Person - The Director General of Abia State Education for Employment (E4E) Agency (Endi Ezengwa)
Mr. Ndubuisi Endi Ezengwa the Director General, Education for Employment Agency, had the opportunity of representing the Governor of Abia State at the BRAZIL AFRICA FORUM 2019 at Sao Paolo, Brazil.
Brazil has a lot to offer Africa. We have similar climate and vegetation. In his opening speech, the Vice President of Brazil said that Brazil and Africa are neighbours divided by one 'river' - the Atlantic hence the need for the development of mutually beneficial relationships.
Transfer of technology was one of the major issues discussed. Others included funding and nature of bilateral partnerships.
The event was graced by high profile organisations including IFAD, FAO, NEPAD, AGRF, AFREXIM BANK etc.
Ambassadors, MInisters and other dignitaries from various African countries also attended. The Nigerian delegation included the Honourable Minister of Agriculture, Honourable Minister of State for Education, The Executive Secretary of TETFUND, etc.
2 major take aways for Abia State are;
1. Abia State will partner with FARA to develop Agripreneurs for agricultural products where we have comparative advantage. The main one being Cassava.
2. Abia State will work with major stakeholders in Agriculture to facilitate food production including processing centres in the State to minimise post harvest wastage
This week, the Director General will be visiting the foremost Agricultural University in Brazil where Abia youths will be trained. He will also travel to Brasilia to discuss the Governor's directives with the Nigerian Ambassador.
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.
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