WorldStage Newsonline– The Federal Government of Nigeria has restated its commitment to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty by 2030, following the ongoing launch of its Project T-MAX (TVET Maximisation) initiative in seven states in the country.
Mr Fela Bank-Olemoh, Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to President Muhammadu Buhari on Education Interventions stated this in Lagos on Monday when he paid a courtesy visit to the Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Folashade Adefisayo, to intimate her with the proposed training which would start from next month till the end of the year.
According to him, the Project T-MAX is a Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programme, approved by the National Steering Committee on National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy (NPRGS).
“To achieve the Federal Government’s goal of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty by 2030, we believe that strong partnerships with the state governments is critical.
” Through this partnership, we will be able to successfully empower over 15,000 Nigerians with skills and also serve as a model for the expansion of technical and vocational skills acquisition across the country,” he stated.
Bank-Olemoh said that the key objective of the initiative was to deploy a transparent, functional and sustainable TVET framework that would equip 15,000 people across seven pilot states.
It is expected to equip them with technical and vocational skills, needed to be self- employed and reliant.
He said it was also to ensure that such TVET centres across the country were operating at full capacity, while providing free skills, training and pumping resources into the local economy.
The senior special assistant said that the pilot phase of the project would run from August to December in seven states, namely: Lagos, Ogun, Edo, Enugu, Kaduna, Nasarawa and Gombe
He said that more than 16 skills would be deployed across the states, subject to modification or addition, depending on the Federal Government’s engagement with key stakeholders in the various states.
Bank-Olemoh listed some of the skills as Web development, animation, mobile development, graphic design, animation, cyber security and coding.
They also include beauty care and cosmetology, leather works, tailoring, ICT solar installation, building and construction, plumbing and fittings.
Bank-Olemoh stated that the objectives were also to ensure that the TVET centres across the states were operating at full capacity, while providing free skills training and pumping resources into the local economy.
“So, by Sept. I, the portal will be open in Lagos, for the registration of participants.
“We are looking at having not less than 3,000 of them registered here in Lagos for training in various skills. It is a three months programme.
“We will register students, send them to the centres and the Federal Government will pay for their training over the next three months.
“The portal will also be open too in Ogun and Kaduna on the same day by that time.
“The programme is funded by the Federal Government and our target is to train 15,000 Nigerians across the seven pilot states, including Lagos.
“Like I said before, it is a programme that focuses on ensuring that TVET centres in Lagos and the others six pilot states, are running on full capacity.
“So, if you are a TVET centre and you have training centres in skills like plumbing, electricians, automotive, ICT and all that, we want such centres to come into this space.
“Next year, the plan is to scale up over 1,000,000 people. Because of the challenges we have in our country, we have lots of people without skills.
We need to do big programmes and fill that confidence that this is the type of programmes that will proffer solutions to those challenges,” he said.
He listed Kaduna and Lagos as pilot states where the programme had been launched, noting that the team planned to be in Ogun on Wednesday and Nasarawa and other remaining states by next week.
“I want to just challenge you the press, one of the things we need to be doing in Nigeria is to ensure that when we say we are going to do things, you ensure we do that.
“We have told you that we are going to train 15,000 Nigerians across seven states of the federation, I will like you to hold us to that.
“Go to these states, check if we are doing just that.Talk to the students, see if we are doing it. Because ultimately, if we strengthen the nation, we strengthen ourselves.
“Our expectation is to confirm that we do not need to build more TVET centres to train our people on skills acquisition, as we already have enough that could maximise their capacities.
“This programme will encourage more participation from females and People With Disabilities (PWDs),” he said.
According to him, starter packs will be given to the top participants in each state, based on their assessment rankings.
He said that the starter packs would also serve as incentives to ensure maximum concentration and participation from the individuals.
Bank-Olemoh said that the main activities of the Project T-MAX in the states would be stakeholders engagement, accreditation of TVET centres, training, monitoring and evaluation, among others.
According to him, at the end of the programme, the team will carry out certification, give out starter packs, job placements as well as organise closing events, do tracking and follow ups.
“Ultimately, we are confident that we will be putting our money into the hands of Nigerians and spend it within the local economy.
“This programme will reduce to the barest minimum, unemployment and poverty, as well as restiveness among youths.
“Whether we like it or not, we have to get this country to work and together, I know we can,” he stated.
In her opening remark, the Lagos Commissioner for Education, Mrs Folashade Adefisayo, lauded the Federal Government for the initiative.
The commissioner noted that the impact of the training on participants and residents, would be overwhelming.
She decried the poor interest shown by citizens in vocational and technical training, especially among the youth.
Adefisayo said enough people were not being trained in areas such as construction.
“A lot of times, we neglect the aspect of technical and vocational education.
“We are not training enough people in the construction sector and this is getting back to us,” the commissioner stated.
According to her, technical and vocational education has been one key area that the state government has been passionate about.
“The stakeholders summit we normally organise about this, has indeed opened more doors to TVET to thrive.
“Currently, there is a shift in perception about TVET in all the sectors of the society and that shows we are getting back to track.
“And with the investment and attention given to this section of education in the state, perceptions are fast changing, as more persons are showing interests in acquisition of skills,” she said.
Mrs Moronke Azeez, Executive Secretary, Lagos State Technical and Vocational Education Board (LASTVEB), said the development was a game changer.
She said that the state was fully ready to work with the team.
Azeez also commended the Federal Government for the initiative, assuring that the state government would give all the support needed for it to thrive and fulfill its mandates.
Jody Adewale, Executive Director of Etiwa Tech Centre, a non profit TVET institute, noted that skills were drivers to economic growth and nation-building.
She noted that the initiative was a step in the right direction, adding that partnering with the Federal Government was something encouraging and heartwarming.