Nto (file photo)
‘I know His Excellency, Gov Alex Otti, is genuinely interested in solving the problem of youth unemployment. I also know he wants to enhance the economic development of the state. This is one window of addressing some of these concerns’
By Ezekiel Njoku
Former Commisioner for Finance and Economic Planning in Abia State, Dr Philips Nto, has advocated the use of the state College of Education as a centre for the training and empowerment of youths.
He said that Abia State College of Education Technical Arochukwu (ASCETA) had the requisite facilities for the training of youths in vocational skills.
Dr Nto, who is the immediate past Provost of ASCETA, spoke in Umuahia, when some former students of the institution paid him a courtesy visit.
According to him, the facilities he attracted from TETFUND to ASCETA are adequate for the training of thousands of Abia youths in various vocations.
He listed painting, blocklaying, plastering, roofing, tiling, furniture, vehicle mechanic, farming, agric business and operation of heavy machinery among others as skills that ASCETA could assist youths to acquire.
Dr Nto noted that training Abia youths in the institution has the twin advantage of creating jobs for them as well as boosting the students enrollment in the school.
The former Commissioner advised the state Governor, Dr Alex Otti, to take advantage of those equipment to tackle youth unemployment and assist ASCETA to find its feet.
“I know His Excellency, Gov Alex Otti, is genuinely interested in solving the problem of youth unemployment. I also know he wants to enhance the economic development of the state. This is one window of addressing some of these concerns”,he said.
He said the governor could kick-start the process by getting the 17 local government areas to sponsor a minimum of 20 youths to ASCETA annually for training.
According to him, after graduation of the youths, Abia State Government can assist them directly or through the Central Bank of Nigeria,to obtain the necessary tools for an independent life.
Said he, “If this is conscientiously applied, Dr Alex Otti will be taking 400 youths out of the labour market every year. At the same time, ASCETA will overcome low students enrollment”
The former Commisioner also noted that since artisans are currently in short supply in the state, trained and empowered youths would solve that problem.
He assured the former students that although he has left as the Provost of ASCETA, he would continue to make contributions towards its development.
Earlier, the students told Dr Philips Nto that they were in his house to thank him for the far reaching development he initiated at ASCETA within seven years.
According to them, in addition to strengthening the academic capacity of the institution, the former Provost changed the infrastructural landscape of ASCETA by building and equipping more than 10 gigantic buildings.
The erstwhile students led by Comr. Frank Eme Orji urged Nto to use his influence to ensure that the developmental strides he initiated are consolidated.