Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, has warned beneficiaries of skills acquisition training and empowerment programmes of the Federal Government to desist from selling empowerment items.
Ngige said this in a statement made available to newsmen by his Media Office on Sunday in Abuja.
The statement quoted the minister as giving the warning during the second phase of the ministry’s empowerment scheme in Awka, Anambra.
Ngige advised the beneficiaries of the skills training programme to desist from selling machines and other tools given them to practise their skills and create employment.
Rather, he said that the beneficiaries should put the items into good use and justify the efforts of the ministry, which had spent more than N50 million on them.
According to him, the era of beneficiaries leaving the venue only to sell the items given to them is gone. Go and use them to practise the skills you have been taught so that you can employ yourselves and others.
”Where you have an existing business, use them for expansion and lift more people out of poverty.
“We have a monitoring team and we will involve the security agencies over any case of diversion of the machines.
”The time is also gone when we all queue up for white collar jobs. They are not available anymore,” he said.
The minister noted that the global trend was on blue collar jobs, such as skills in information and communication technology, mechanics and mechatronics, creative designing, building technology, carpentry, wood works and multiple value chains in agriculture.
According to him, the empowerment programme is for those who will use the items to create wealth and further their businesses, such as hair dressers, crop farmers and those processing the harvests of yams, maize, cassava, millet and so on.
“As the planting season approaches, we are giving more attention to agricultural tools, in line with the emphasis by the Federal Government on self-sufficiency in food production.
”So, in the next phase, there will be more agricultural tools to enhance farming and create more employment,” he added.
Ngige also stated that Alor and Ifite-Dunu specialist skills training centres in the state would hold series of training through National Directorate of Employment (NDE), in March, with certificates to be issued at the end of each session.
”The training and empowerment scheme is for all Nigerians,” he said, adding that the phases three and four of the programme would hold before the end of the year.
The minister also said the programme would train and empower 3,000 youths from each of the 36 states of the federation and the FCT.