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Okezie Ikpeazu, the Governor of Abia State, has commissioned the Women & Youth Development Centre, (Half-Way Home) built by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation/Total Upstream Nigeria Limited and partners, and donated to the state government as part of their corporate social responsibility.
Speaking at the event, on Tuesday, in Umuahia, Governor Ikpeazu, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Barr. Chris Ezem, restated the commitment of his administration to vocational training as a tool of empowerment, job creation and provision of needed manpower to drive industrial growth and promised that the facility would be judiciously used as a training ground for skills acquisition in the State. He also stated that the centre would assist the State in its SME development pursuit, adding that SMEs and skills acquisition are the way to go with the present day economic realities.
Ikpeazu expressed appreciation to NNPC, TOTAL and their partners for the gesture and said it would go a long way to create employment opportunities for the people of Abia known for their industriousness.
Also speaking, the state Commissioner for Women Affairs & Social Development, Mrs. Ukachi Amala, promised that every material equipment provided within the facility would be deployed to good use. She expressed joy that the centre would provide opportunities for women, youths and children to learn skills and improve the economy of the State.
In his speech delivered via zoom, the representative of the Managing Director of NNPC, Mr. Ajakura Wokoma, informed that the project was done in furtherance of the corporate social responsibilities of the NNPC. He informed that the project in Abia is one of the several projects being commissioned all over the country, adding that the projects were borne out of the need to mitigate the gaps in qualitative and technical education, maternal & child health, access to clean water and women & youth empowerment, which he said are in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Contributing, the Group General Manager, National Petroleum Investment Management Services, Bala Wunti, who equally spoke via Zoom, said the project is a purpose built, fully equipped Women & Youth Development Centre with the state-of-the-art facilities, including borehole and integrated power supply system. He enjoined all to protect and put the facility into the best use.
While showcasing the facility, the Project Manager, Chief Julius Imoh, disclosed that the building has the capacity of training over 50 persons at a time with 34 sewing machines as well as a hall of about 400 capacity and well-equipped offices, ICT training unit among others.