In continuation of its poverty alleviation programme, the Federal government of Nigeria has established an Automotive Training Centre in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State.
One of the 21 earmarked for the six geopolitical zones of the country, the Ekiti center was commissioned on Friday by the Minister of Industry Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, who was the Chief host and Special Guest of honour.
Conceived as an internally generated initiative for the National Automotive Design and development Council (NADDC), the facilities are set up to train Nigerians to maintain and service modern vehicles as well as manufacturing of spare parts.
In a keynote address, Adebayo linked the project to the National Automotive Industry Development Plan (NAIDP), which he recently presented to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for approval.
“It has, therefore, become imperative,” he explained, “that infrastructure and human capacity building be emphasized to align with the content of the policy.”
According to him, the NAIDP is designed to achieve local production of vehicles, 40% local content as well as attaining 30% locally produced Electric Vehicle with a goal of generating about one million jobs in Nigeria.
“To this end, with 21 Automotive Training centres across six geopolitical zones of the country, the Federal government aims at reducing social vices among our youths by providing them with the much desired employment,” he added.
The training center is an initiative of the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), a parastatal under the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment.
Welcoming guests to the event, the NADDC Director General, Mr. Jelani Aliyu described the centers as one of the key interventions of his council towards solving the problem of dearth of skills in the automotive sector.
“This is part of the implementation of the NAIDP,“he stressed, adding, “So far, the achievements we have recorded via the implementation of the policy include: an investment of over $1 billion into the Nigerian auto sector by both local and international investors, who set up factories and assembly plants across the country. These are companies with a combined production capacity of over 400,000 vehicles annually.
“As we move further into the future and continue to implement the 2023 NAIDP, there will be locally produced vehicles with modern and advanced technology. We are, therefore, setting up this training center to encourage and train more youths and existing auto technicians to understand the latest auto technologies so that they can keep locally manufactured vehicles running in optimum shape.”
Also speaking at the event, the Ekiti State governor, Mr. Biodun Abayomi Oyebanji, represented by the state’s Commissioner for Trade, investment and industries, Mr. Paul Ayodele adeyanju, expressed a belief that the training centre will create an enabling environment for manufacturing of made-in-Nigeria vehicles of international standard, using local content and sold to Nigerians at competitive prices.
“We are also aware that this centre will provide a training ground for our teaming unemployed youths to become self reliant,” he added.
Oyebanji, therefore, implored Ekiti State youths to take advantage of the centre.
Also in attendance was His Royal Majestry, Oba Rufus Adejugbe, the Ewi of Ado-Ekiti accompanied by members of Ewi in Council.
In a goodwill message, Oba Adejugbe appealed to Ekiti indigenes and prospective trainees to guard the project jealously and ensure that the equipment at the centre are not vandalized.
The event, which was also attended by the Ekiti state chapter of the Motor Mechanics and Technicians Association of Nigeria (MOMTAN), was concluded with facility tour of the center led by the NADDC DG.
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