The Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC) and other partners have commenced a 60-day training and empowerment program for Nigerian youths, especially rescued victims of human trafficking, internally displaced persons and persons who returned from countries like South Africa because of xenophobia in construction artisanship.
Speaking at the opening ceremony on Monday at the headquarters of Industrial Training Fund (ITF) in Abuja, the MD/CEO of NMRC, Kehinde Ogundimu, said this was a corporate social responsibility that will enable the beneficiaries settle into their various communities and able to earn a living by contributing to the Nigeria housing sector with acquired skills and start-off seeds.
NMRC is working collaboratively with ITF and NAPTIP to achieve this program. While NAPTIP helped identify the beneficiaries whom they had rescued from their various ordeals, ITF will offer the training being sponsored and supervised by NMRC.
According to Ogundimu, NMRC has been undertaking this corporate social responsibility with ITF since 2017 to train and impact people with skills and the necessary tools and capital for take-off.
While IDPs have been the major beneficiaries in the past years, this year’s training and empowerment program focuses mainly on returnees.
‘’What instigated this particular initiative is the need to empower citizens of Nigeria, to ensure that young Nigerians who are capable but without opportunities are adequately given the right skills. Today’s event is one of the series of events we undertake as a corporate social responsibility. As an organisation, we believe that Nigerians need to be empowered so that they can contribute to society. We will not only give them the skills, but the tools to start their journey into integration and economic independence, so that they too can become employers of labours themselves,’’ Ogundimu said.
‘’This year we have decided to train and empower returnees. For that, we are in partnership with NAPTIP, an organisation that has been at the forefront of fighting human trafficking. They have been working to settle people returning from places like Libya, South Africa and others. At the end of the training, ITF will issue each beneficiary a certificate of training that can be tendered Nationwide for jobs and opportunities,’’ he added.
Ogundimu also stated that this initiative was equally inspired by the need to end the importation of artisans from countries like Togo and Benin Republic. ‘’This is our contribution to stop that. We are empowering people with skills that can help them contribute to housing development. Their skills will help a lot of construction works.’’
By creating jobs for them through this, Ogundimu believes that it will also help reduce unemployment and idleness in the country, which has often been the cause of crimes.
The training will also involve feeding and payment of stipends to motivate the beneficiaries.
At the completion of the training, the progress of the beneficiaries will also be monitored to ensure a seamless transition. According to Ogundimu, there is a developed mobile app that will monitor their progress, advertise their skills, and match them with potential employers. ‘’We don’t just train and abandon them,’’ he said.
Speaking on behalf of the Director General of ITF, Farouk Danladi Ahmed also expressed his excitement about the vocational and technical skills program which will signifanctly help in reducing unemployment in Nigeria.
According to him, the training is situated under the Federal Government National Industrial Revolution Plan and it is specifically tagged by them as National Industrial Skills Development Program.
He encouraged the trainees not to limit themselves, but to believe in themselves and imbibe the spirit of hard work, continuous improvement and integrity.
Some of the technical skills that will be acquired by the trainees include painting, screeding, plumbing, electric installation, interior decorations and many more.