By Ovedhe Jerry Hezekiah
In a bid to make youths to become entrepreneurs and employers of labour, Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, DESOPADEC, is in the process of setting up an Academy where youths will be trained to become experts at various skills.
Managing Director and Chief Executive of DESOPADEC, Bashorun Askia Ogieh, who disclosed this at the grand finale of DBS Song of the Year Talent Show held at Warri on Sunday October 11, 2020, said that the show is an enterprise that fits in perfectly with a market with limitless potentials.
He said trainees from the DESOPADEC Academy “will be well kitted to take off and become “Engineers and Designers,” or they may decide to give themselves such other appellations or big titles that fit them,” adding, “after all, tailors are now Fashion Designers, our car Mechanics are Engineers, all without seeing the four walls of the polytechnics and universities. Who cares?
In his words; “All we care about is for our youths to be self-sustaining through their handworks, while contributing to growing the economy of our State. I am sure our experts who are putting this together will accommodate graduates and non-graduates who may be interested in The Academy.”
“skills in the artisanal sector are going or have gone extinct such that we are now importing these skills from neighbouring countries,” he regretted that he “never imagined that one day we would be hiring masons (bricklayers) plumbers, tilers, mechanics, electricians, etc., from outside Nigeria, with far-reaching implications for our economy.”
“We must put up conscious efforts to encourage our youths to be fully engaged in this very vital sector of the economy. I can tell you confidently and boldly too, that there is more money to be made being a well-trained roadside mechanic or bricklayer or tiler than in some of these white collar jobs that are even nonexistent.”
The DESOPADEC helmsman also added that; “Nigerian music, especially the genre made by our enterprising young Deltans, have made significant inroad internationally, stating that music and comedy have fused to become one of Nigeria’s major export not just to Africa, but the entire global community despite Western pop being dominant on the international scene, the world is looking for something fresh from Africa.”
While assuring that DESOPADEC, under his watch is proud to be associated with this initiative by DBS Warri, he said: “We believe that our younger generation has the latent talent, desire and drive to excel even in the most inclement and competitive environment. We have testimonies on this. Right before us, Nollywood as Nigeria’s indigenous motion picture industry is globally described, rose from the ashes of nothingness to become a global brand and the third largest film industry without government or institutional support.
“I have no doubt that right before us here are some of the most creative, resourceful, energetic and bourgeoning entertainment brands the world is waiting for. For those who could not make the finals, it is not an indication of any less creativity. I am sure that if the judges had their way, every one of you would have been declared winners. But truly, everybody is a winner because the vast world awaits you.”