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Ebelechukwu Obiano Advocates Entrepreneurial Training to curb unemployment

By Emeka Ozumba
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The wife of Anambra State governor, Chief Mrs. Ebelechukwu Obiano has advocated entrepreneurial training for women and youths to curb the high level of unemployment among school leavers and graduates of tertiary institutions due to lack of skill acquisition during their educational programmes. Such training she noted would better equip the beneficiaries to face life's challenges after formal education.

Speaking after commissioning the Bakery and Knitting Centre of the Saint John's Vocational and Technical (VOTEC), Neni, Anaocha Local Government Area of the State, Monday, Chief Mrs. Obiano explained that ''learning by doing'' which the vocational and technical training offers will help to check unemployment situation in the country.

Governor Obiano's wife reasoned that many educated university graduates are not skilled due to absence of entrepreneurial programmes in institutions; hence they roam the street in search of non-existent or few white collar jobs while those with skills provide jobs for themselves make profit and employ others.

She appreciated the vision of the founders and management of the VOTEC in setting up the institute which according to her, is in line with the philosophy behind the efforts in establishing her pet project, Caring Family Enhancement Initiative (CAFÉ), which has a mandate to care for the less privileged and reduce women-child vulnerability while maintaining the dignity of the physically challenged people in Anambra state. CAFÉ also galvanizes resources for the uplifting of orphans, vulnerable children and the physically challenged. CAFÉ initiates vocational training and skill acquisition for indigent women so as to reduce poverty level to the barest minimum.

''I know of many university graduates who after many years of graduating are yet to find job. The reason is that they passed through the institutions without acquiring necessary skills to make them self-sufficiency, make money and employ others.

“This is the time to start. You have to be part of building the establishment, being the solution instead of constituting the problem. Put interest in what you are doing here so that you can assist in nation building through the skill development which will make you self-sufficient and bread winners in your various families.”

She also pointed out that her pet project CAFE focuses on issues that promote and improve the welfare of the most vulnerable and disadvantage groups in the society, disable, destitute, the aged children and rehabilitate youths and channel them to better people in the society.

Speaking further, chief Mrs. Obiano commended the school management for establishing VOTEC, saying it enables students to remain focused and busy and as such avoid the temptation of falling into the hand of criminals and sex trade racketeers and traffickers.

According to her, CAFÉ is presently embarking upon training of women and girls in soap making, adding that soap production machines and stipends have equally been provided to some trainees to commence their skill acquisition activities.

Governor Obiano's wife assured the management of VOTEC of possible assistance from the State government, noting that she has had meaningful discussions with her husband the governor whom she described as entrepreneurship-friendly on how best to assist the Institute, adding that he has promised to send the Education Commissioner and her team to the Institute to appraise situations and areas of possible assistance especially concerning the skill acquisition complex.

Also speaking the Anambra State Commissioner for Education, Dr. Mrs. Kate Omenugha emphasized the importance attached to vocational educational in the state education curricular as a tool for ensuring that youths are meaningfully engaged after formal education. She explained that the governor classified education as an enabler to underscore the central role it plays in equipping the individual for the achievement of life's goal and praised the commitment of the promoters of VOTEC for the value-added in reducing unemployment.

In his remarks, the Bishop of Awka, Bishop Ezeokafor recalled that the Institute began when he was the Paris Priest at Neni, pointing out that the Institute will produce skilled personnel who will be self-employed and self-sufficient as well as employers of labour.

Bishop Ezeokafor expressed happiness with the Obiano administration which he said is working and called for total support to the administration, just as he praised the governor's wife for establishing her pet project which targets mainly at the women, widows and indigents ones.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Director of the Centre, Rev. Fr. Francis Michael Enyisiobi expressed appreciation with the visit of the wife of the governor to commission the centre and commended Catholic Bishop of Awka, His Lordship Most Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor for initiating the establishment of the Institute, and prayed for full realization of St. John' Polytechnic and St, Peter University.

Rev. Fr. Enyosiobi who appreciated the governor for his interest in vocational and technical education while commending the wife for initiating CAFÉ through which lives have been touched especially that of widows and indigents women and requested for partnership between the Institute and the State government in order to make the State and its youths an ideal.

He recalled that CAFÉ had few days ago brought some 21 women picked randomly from the 21 local government areas of the State and sent them for training at VOTEC for training and empowerment, and appreciated the choice of the Institute as the training ground.

The clergy noted that the Institute clocked 15 years on September 9, this year and has currently enrolled 420 adult females who take part in different vocational and technical training programmes, adding that the trainees look up to the governor's wife as a role model.

He requested the governor' wife to help channel their request of completing the two-storey building and to commission the new Auditorium/Practical Laboratory and Classroom Block still under construction, while requesting for provision of coaster bus for attending workshops.




Wife of Anambra State governor, Chief Mrs. Ebelechukwu Obiano,Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev Dr. Paulinus Ezeokafor, Representative of the wife of Anaocha Local Government Area, Mrs. Chioma Ejiofor, and Director of VOTEC centre, Rev. Fr. Francis Michael Enyisiobi at the Commissioning of the Bakery and Knitting Centre of the Saint John's Vocational and Technical (VOTEC), Neni, Anaocha Local Government Area, Anambra State.


Wife of Anambra State governor, Chief Mrs. Ebelechukwu Obiano,cutting the tape to commission the Bakery and Knitting Centre, first left is the Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev. Dr. Paulinus Ezeokafor at the Commissioning of the Bakery and Knitting Centre of the Saint John's Vocational and Technical (VOTEC), Neni, Anaocha Local Government Area, Anambra State.


Wife of Anambra State governor, Chief Mrs. Ebelechukwu Obiano , Mrs. Chioma Ejiofor, and Director of VOTEC centre, Rev. Fr. Francis Michael Enyisiobi at the Commissioning of the Bakery and Knitting Centre of the Saint John's Vocational and Technical (VOTEC), Neni, Anaocha Local Government Area, Anambra State.


Wife of Anambra State governor, Chief Mrs. Ebelechukwu Obiano, Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev. Dr. Paulinus Ezeokafor, Anambra State Commissioner for Education, Dr. Mrs. Kate Omenugha, Representative of the wife of Anaocha Local Government Area, Mrs. Chioma Ejiofor, and Director of VOTEC centre, Rev. Fr. Francis Michael Enyisiobi at the Commissioning of the Bakery and Knitting Centre of the Saint John's Vocational and Technical (VOTEC), Neni, Anaocha Local Government Area, Anambra State.