The Federal Government says plans are ongoing to upgrade the Metallurgical Training Institute (MTI) in Obosi, Anambra to meet Nigeria’s need for vocational skills.
Dr Uchechukwu Ogah, the Minister of State, Ministry of Mines and Steel Development said this on Thursday in Obosi when he paid a familiarisation visit to the institute.
Ogah said that with the upgrade, the institute would be able standard to train youths on different skills and make them entrepreneurs.
Nigeria News Agency reports that the Metallurgical Training Institute is a parastatal under the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development.
It was established in 1981 following a bilateral agreement between the Governments of Nigeria and Germany.
The institute has the mandate to train Nigerians on maintenance engineering with the aim of fast-tracking technological development in the country.
The minister noted that one of the country’s problems was that everybody wants to obtain certificates without having the rudiments of discipline.
He added that government’s desire was to take the institute to a level where people could develop themselves and be one of the best in all institutes.
“This is what Nigeria needs, not certificates, it is now about what you can do, the skill is what we are asking for,” the minister of state said.
According to him, this is why the Federal Government want to develop the institute in terms of skills acquisition to make people acquire required competences to become entrepreneurs.
He added that the main focus of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration was to create employment for Nigerians and to train youths on relevant skills.
The minister of state called on state governors to send youths to the institute, adding that this would go a long way in reducing the high rate of unemployed youths in the country.
He said that government was already in the process of getting a legal framework for the institute through the National Assembly.
Dikwa also visited Igwe Chidubem Iweka the 3rd of Obosi, and thanked him for the cordial relationship and harmony that had existed between the community and the institute since its inception.
Earlier, the Igwe said that many of its youths had graduated from the institute with skills that had been useful to the community and the country generally.
He expressed optimism that upgrading the institute would help alleviate youth restiveness in the country at large.
The minister of state however, appealed to the Federal Government to consider approving grants for graduates of the institute to enable them start their own businesses after graduation.
The Igwe also said there was the need for people of the community to be given special employment considerations in the institute.
“We are happy that the Federal Government wants to effect the upgrade of the institute,
“But the institute should not only be involved in training of graduates, it should also have some grants for poor students to enable them start their own bussiness after graduation.
“I think it will be a great thing if this is done, especially for poor students.
“We have been having great relationship with MTI as host community over the years, we will want to be honored with employment opportunities,” the Igwe said.
NAN also reports that the minister of state expressed satisfaction with the way the institute was being operated after he was taken round its various departments and facilities.
Dikwa was conducted round the school by the Acting Director and Chief Executive Mrs Biakolo Alisegwe.
The institute has a student population of over 1,000.
Edited by Ese E. Ekama (NAN)
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