The Chairman, Ondo State House of Assembly Committee on Commerce and Industry, Hon. Sola Ebiwonjumi, has stressed the importance of skills acquisition and vocational training to the economic development and reduction of unemployment in the society.
He charged youths in the state to avail themselves of various skills acquisition programmes available to them to make them self-reliant and employers of labour in the state.
Hon. Ebiwonjumi spoke during the committee's visit to Crystal Entrepreneurship Centre, a private company set up by Otunba Sola Olatunji, at the Trade Fair Complex, Akure, the Ondo state capital.
The Centre was established to train people in various skills acquisition programmes such as Cosmetology, Cinematography, ICT, Catering, Event Management, Music Production, Fashion and Designing, Chemical Production, Solar Energy Technology, Refrigeration/Air Conditioning, Aluminium Technology and Janitorial Services.
He particularly lauded the Chairman and CEO of the Centre for his initiative and love for his state which has made him to establish such a business outfit for the benefit of the people of the state.
Hon. Ebiwonjumi who is also the Minority Leader of the Assembly encouraged youths, civil servants and politicians to avail themselves with various skills acquisition and training programmes provided by the Centre to secure good future for themselves.
He described entrepreneurship as a veritable tool for socio-economic development and employment generation.
The Committee Chairman called on unemployed youths in the state and those riding commercial motorcycles to take advantage of the skills acquisition and training programmes to give themselves sustainable source of income, make themselves self-reliant and employers of labour, rather than look for those who will give them a day money which cannot sustain them.
According to him, by so doing, the youths will contribute their own quotas to the economy of the state and the country and large, apart from having their stable own jobs.
Hon. Ebiwonjumi expressed the readiness of the lawmakers to partner with the Centre to create wealth and improve the economy of the state.
Also speaking, a member of the committee, Hon. Siji Akindiose disclosed that nobody is exempted from acquiring practical skills, saying "being a Ph. D holder does not stop you from acquiring skills".
He advised unemployed youths in the state to be ready to make use of the opportunity provided by the Chairman of the company to acquire necessary skills that will put food on their table and make them employers of labour.
The Chairman and CEO of the Centre, Otunba Sola Olatunji said he deliberately established the company in the state to contribute to its economic development and also create job opportunities for unemployed youths and those who want to have their personal business as alternative source of income.
He enjoined well-meaning individuals, especially politicians to sponsor members of their constituencies to acquire practical knowledge that will make them better persons and job providers in no distant future, explaining that giving youths N10, 000 per month or okada to empower them is economic wastage which cannot take them anywhere.
The CEO observed that it is better to teach the youths how to fish rather than giving them fish to eat, saying the best way to empower people is by giving them job through real skills acquisition and vocational training that will guarantee their future.