By Obas Esiedesa
The Federal Government is to empower Nigerian youths with multiple skills acquisition programmes as part of efforts to stem unemployment and promote national development.
The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu disclosed this when he received a delegation comprising the South Korean Ambassador to Nigeria, Nigerian Institute of Welding and Samsung Heavy Industries in his office on Thursday in Abuja.
A statement by the Ministry said Dr. Onu explained that, in line with the Executive Order 5 which was initiated by the Ministry, the Federal Government will stimulate skills in the nation’s manufacturing sector to enable it contribute significantly to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the nation.
He said that welding skills is important to the development of Nigeria’s manufacturing sector, adding that “Welding is important to all sectors of our economy, such as underwater welding which is important to the maritime economy”.
He assured the delegation that his Ministry will work closely with The Institute of Welding and Samsung Heavy Industries to ensure many Nigerians youths are co-opted by the institute to acquire needed skills to develop their potentials.
The Minister said with the acquisition of useful skills, Nigerian youths would be motivated to export their knowledge to other parts of the world, thereby earning foreign exchange for the country.
Dr. Onu charged the Institute of Welding to pursue excellence when certifying and training young Nigerians and ensure that certification issued to participants are merited.
He commended the business acumen of Samsung Heavy Industries in Nigeria and urged the firm to diversify her investment in the country, adding that the Federal Government will continue to support legitimate investment.
He extolled the historic and warm relationship between Nigeria and South Korea, pointing out the progress and landmark strides achieved by South Korea was due to the priority accorded Science, Technology and Innovation.
Earlier, the President, Nigerian Institute of Welding, Dr. Solomon Edebiri, said his Institute has set in motion a national welding capability plan that will regulate welding practice in the nation, issue license for welding and award national certification to competent workmen at various levels.
He further revealed that his Institute and Samsung Heavy Industries are collaborating to organize a National Welding Competition and prepare the best participant for the World Skills competition next year.
In his own address, the South Korean Ambassador to Nigeria, In Tae Lee, said the cooperation will help expose young Nigerians to gain global skills for national and economic development, adding that over 600 Nigerians have been trained in the process.
His government, he added, will support the best participants of the welding skills competition.
In his own remarks, the Managing Director of Samsung Heavy Industries in Nigeria, Jegin Jean said his company has been doing business in Nigeria since 2012 with an initial capital investment of $300 million Dollars. He also solicited the support of the government to ensure the success of the National Welding Skills Competition.