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European Investors Set Up 4.5m Vocational Center At Okoye University, Enugu

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The International Centre for Migration Policy Development ICMPD has said the £4.5 million business park and a start-up Centre built in partnership with the Australian Development Agency, European private sector partners and Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu is aimed at tackling issue of unlawful migration to foreign lands by Nigerian youths

According to the foreign body, the unique combination of private entrepreneur involvement and skilled worker training will enable 100 people per year to undertake dual education and training to learn skilled trades and become plumbers, electricians and construction supervisors.

Speaking during the official launch of the Centre located at the University’s main campus, at Ugwuomu Nike, Enugu East Council area, Director General of the ICMPD, Mr. Michael Spindelegger explained that the initiative is intended to create prospects for the local population as the skilled worker training is in line with European standards and is based on the dual principles of theory and practice.

He further stated that while the CopS is part of the broader public-private initiative which will provide investors with quality infrastructure, the start-up centre will facilitate entrepreneurship.

“While the business park provides the eco-friendly infrastructure to European and Nigerian companies, the centre of practical skills provides vocational training facilities.

“The start-up centre aims to support the development of sustainable Nigerian youth-led businesses through advisory and funding via a venture capital fund and the existing partnership with a microfinance bank”.

According to him, while all the funds invested in the business park, amounting to £4.5 million have come from Austrian investors, the operating costs of the centre of practical’s are covered by the German government through the GIZ as the main sponsor and by ADA.

He said that although many European companies see the opportunities that exist in many African markets, only the really big ones dare to take a step and that is why the ICMPD has created the conditions to enable SMEs to establish themselves in a secure and stable environment.

He noted that from 2024, the aim will be to expand the training programme to include building services, IT food processing, textiles and tourism to offer the corresponding training positions and to attract new companies, adding that there are also plans to open a start-up centre in 2025 which will help people to become self-employed and start their own businesses.

The ICMPD boss, maintained that the centre will support the creation of training and employment opportunities for Nigerian youths, thereby tackling some of the root causes of irregular migration and also promoting education and employment opportunities for young women and returnees.

“At the same time, the aim is to specifically attract small and medium-sized enterprises to Nigeria with its large and growing market of over 220 million people, “he said.

In his remark, Vice Chancellor VC of the Enugu Catholic Diocese owned University, Rev. Fr. Prof. Christian Anieke said that the institution sees the initiative as an unambiguous expression of its connectivity to the world of industry, which the university started pursuing by hosting the first ever town-and- gown assembly in a Nigerian university.

He stated that “Today our business park has become a reality,” he said. “Some of the industries have already started their operations and businesses here, including Global players like Kekelit”.

The VC noted that the University has become the first to attract big European companies in its business park, thus making it a university that is deeply connected with the world of industry.

In his address, governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic party, PDP, Peter Mba said that if elected, his administration will partner with ICMPD and GO university to ensure that more youths acquire skills to be and be self- employed.

“We will also make sure that whatever is produced at the centre and business park is used both locally and internationally

The event was attended by the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission professor Rasheed who applauded the university for the great great
Also in attended were top government officials from Austria, Germany, India among others.

Short URL: https://www.africanexaminer.com/?p=83501

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