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The government of Imo State has claimed that it was using the Skillup Imo Project to address socio-economic challenges in the state with the aim of taking the state to the next level.
According to the Commissioner for Digital economy and E-government, Dr. Amadi Chimezie and the Chief Political Adviser to Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State, Enyinnaya Onuegbu, who spoke jointly on an Arise TV interview monitored by The Eastern Updates explained why the Skillup Imo and Digital Training Project is not a campaign tool as alleged in some quarters.
They said, ‘We’re using skillup Imo to address socio-economic challenges in the state and the country at large. The gain at the end of the day is that we have a more prosperous Imo State.
‘A smart economy built in Imo State, Imo citizens becoming proud, sound and doing their thing. They’ll become one of the best innovators that you can find anywhere in the world. This is an empowerment, when you are being given an empowerment of skills that will make you a player in the evolving digital economy.
‘Skillup Imo is not just about self-development, rather it is about laying those building blocks that will help us birth a progressive society.’
He further added that; ‘A lot of people were trained in cohort 1. In cohort 1, we graduated 5,000 people and some of them that come from families of means were able to have opportunities of travelling abroad.
“The idea is that skills, talents, capital follow opportunity. As you know opportunities are not limited in Imo, it is not limited in Nigeria.
“Opportunity especially in the digital age, is available anywhere in the world. Some of us are on time Diasporans and we’ve been able to study abroad, optimized ourselves, acquired skills and we’re here contributing to building a strong democracy. There is nothing wrong if somebody has the opportunity of going abroad to enhance himself.’
They stated that the Governor has promised to support those people who cannot afford travel tickets, thereby making a child of nobody, somebody.
Responding to the question as to whether the idea of training 300,000 persons over five years is about the forthcoming governorship election, Enyinnaya Onuegbu said, “It’s not political, it’s non-partisan, it’s not nepotism, and the only requirement is being resident in Imo.
“The idea behind it is that we have satellite training centres in all tertiary institutions in Imo State. We’ve additional high facility centre at the ministry. In a year we project that 100,000 graduates would have gone through the system for that and achieving 300,000 in five years wouldn’t be a demanding position because we already have the facilities to do that.
“This empowerment is not limited to digital skills, remember that the Governor carried out a youth empowerment programme that gave funds to Imo youths to start up small and medium scale businesses, and they’re self-sustaining in employment. It was done in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
“The governor had before now without regard to politics done this believing that his duty is to show the light because Imo had governors in the past who didn’t consider these areas worthwhile,” he stated.