During the visit to the office of the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, Innoson management, led by the Chairman of Innoson Group, Dr Innocent Chukwuma, and the Chief Executive Officer of Innoson Kiara Academy, Mr. Endi Ezengwa, made a presentation and later held discussions which both sides described as very fruitful.
While making the presentation to the minister, Ezendi had outlined Innoson Kiara Academy’s activities and programmes, pointing out areas of possible collaboration with the Federal Government on skill acquisition and youth development.
Impressed with the rich content of the illustration, the minister commended Innoson’s management for the noble initiative of equipping the youth with the vital training towards a gainful living – which he said is in tandem with the Federal government’s programmes.
Senator Ngige said the visit by the Innoson delegation was timely, considering that government is launching various skill acquisition programmes designed to empower young Nigerians and provide them with life-long skills and tools to enable them improve their lives and make a difference in their immediate communities.
He assured them of the willingness of the Buhari government to train and empower Nigerian youths for which it has earmarked N500 billion.
Senator Ngige further assured that the government would partner with the Innoson Group and other relevant organisations in order to ensure the success of the programme. He restated the commitment of the government to an import-reduction regime through heavy patronage of made-in-Nigeria products to which Inoson Innoson Group contributes a long list of items through its subsidiary companies, including Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Company Limited (IVM) which manufactures passenger cars and commercial vehicles in Nnewi.
As the training arm of the Innoson Group, Innoson Kiara Academy offers courses that are tailored to meet the technical personnel needs of various factories within the ‘family’, in addition to providing skill acquisition training for participants in the amnesty programme for the Niger Delta ex-militants, as well as other organisations.
A batch of the ex-militants which has been undergoing training at the Innoson Kiara Academy in partnership with the Presidential Amnesty Office, is expected to pass out before the end of August. At various stages in the course of the training which commenced in 2015, the participants were deployed to different sections at the Innoson auto plant in Nnewi, for training as welders, spray painters, auto mechanics, and electricians, among others.
The ex-militants have been undergoing the training under the Federal Government’s Education for Employment (E4E) Programme for the Niger Delta Youths supervised by the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator of the Amnesty Programme, Brig-Gen Paul T. Boro.
In response to our presentation, the Honourable Minister informed us of the willingness of the APC government to train and empower Nigerian youths. He said that the government has earmarked 500 billion naira towards this programme.
The three areas of cooperation identified include Certification of Innoson Kiara Academy graduates, training of Nigerian Youth in Automobile manufacturing and maintenance and activation of Skills Acquisition Centres nationwide.
As it stands, the INNOSON KIARA Academy has started collaborating with relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies, as well as state governments in training of youths in the acquisition of various skills. For example, the Academy is partnering with the Federal Government Amnesty Office to train about 200 ex-militants in the areas of automobile and plastic manufacturing.
While the training in automobile manufacturing will be undertaken at the INNOSON multi-billion naira INNOSON Vehicles Manufacturing Plant located in the industrial town of Nnewi, Anambra State, the skills acquisition programme in plastic manufacturing will be carried out at the INNOSON Industrial complex at Emene Enugu.
It is instructive to note that there are numerous benefits accruable from the knowledge inherent in the skills acquisition programmes. While the knowledge being acquired in the automobile sector will enable the beneficiaries maintain and possibly manufacture new vehicles, depending on the deft application of the knowledge acquired, those who gain skills in plastic manufacturing have the potentials to make chairs, tables, kitchen and toilet wares.
Definitely, with strict discipline and proper application of the skills acquired from the INNOSON -KIARA Academy, Nigeria will have a bright future as her youths will turn out as industrialists, investors, manufacturers and employers of labour in the very near future.
It is important to point out that the notable economies of the world such as USA, UK, Germany, Japan and others usually place high premium on the innate abilities of individuals and their productivity rather than university degrees which do not in any way increase output or enhance productivity in such industrial socities.
In these days of economic recession, paucity of foreign currencies like the Dollar and Pounds Sterling, it makes common sense to conserve scarce resources by training our youths locally, especially as the INNOSON- KIARA Academy has met local and international standards.
Apart from the Amnesty Office which has already commenced partnership with the Academy, the Ministry of Labour and Productivity has in realisation of the value- added advantage derivable from promoting productivity in the country started discussions with the Academy on areas of mutual cooperation.
Based on this, it is expected that among other things the Ministry will collaborate with the Academy in certification of its graduates, training of Nigerian youths in automobile manufacturing, maintenance and reactivation of skills acquisition centers nationwide.
In the same vein, the Minister of Youths and Sports of the federation, Mr. Solomon Dalung, has on his visit to the INNOSON- KIARA Academy training centers at Nnewi and Enugu commended the Chairman of INNOSON Group, Chief Innocent Chukwuma, for his foresight, vision and patriotism which led to the establishment of the INNOSON-KIARA Academy.
Meanwhile, the Ministry will partner with the Academy to train Nigerian youths to equip them with relevant skills which will enable them be gainfully employed and contribute meaningfully to the development of their various communities and the country at large. That the INNOSON Group was able to provide such an enabling environment for the realisation of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration vision on youth empowerment is commendable and a mark of patriotism.
It is vital to stress that the plastics processing factory in Enugu and the vehicle manufacturing company at Nnewi serve as workshops and production units for practical experience of the trainees.
This partnership will doubtlessly lead to the empowerment of Nigerian youths as they will have the opportunity of utilizing their acquired skills and knowledge to improve their lives and impact on the society.
It is also necessary to extol the patriotic disposition of the Minister of Labour, Dr. Chris Ngige, his youth affairs counterpart, Mr. Dalung and the Buhari administration generally for their support to local companies like INNOSON with a view to improving the lives of Nigerians. This trend portends signs of worthy legacies the Buhari administration intends to bequeath to the youths of Nigeria and necessary support should be given by all stakeholders.