The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has successfully completed the training of 1000 Cross River State youths on GSM phone repairs, hardware, software & entrepreneurship development under its Youth Empowerment Programme.
The training was held in three locations across the state, namely Calabar, Ikom and Ogoja and is the sixth in the seriesorganised by the NCDMB, having conducted similar interventions in Kano, Kaduna, Cross River, Bauchi and Yobe States which had impacted about 3,900 youths.
Speaking at the closing ceremony held recently in Calabar, the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engr. Simbi KesiyeWabote indicated that the Board conducted the training as part of its capacity building mandate and in line with PresidentMuhammadu Buhari’s commitment to empower Nigerian youths as leading contributors to national development.
He said that empowerment programme was aimed at providing lifelong support to youths that desired to be empowered in high impact economic sectors including oil and gas, Information and Communication Technology, Agriculture, construction, and others.
“Herein lies the huge opportunity for GSM Technicians, as your services cut across all strata of the society and sectors of the economy. Your ability to demonstrate resilience also offersopportunity for you to operate in the multipolar world” Wabote said.
He noted that most members of the society use GMS phones and would always need maintenance services, and this meant that the skills learnt by the trainees would be in high demand.He harped on the need to design a roadmap towards boosting local manufacturing of embedded systems and mobile phone technology, to progress from assembly to the manufacturing of integrated circuitry, electronic components and mobile devices.
The Executive Secretary disclosed that since the onset of the GSM revolution and the deregulation of the ICT sector in 2001, it has brought about rapid growth in teledensity from 1.89 percent in 2002 to 102.4 percent in 2021 and its contribution to GDP increased from 7.24 percent to 14.91percent in 2021.
He pointed that the GSM training has provided trainees with ample opportunity to harness the potentials in the ICT sector based on the unique End2End training delivery model and encouraged them to take advantage of the acquired skills in software development.
He also challenged the graduands to dream big by building on the model to contribute to the development of a national technology ecosystem that is innovative, productive, and resilient.
In his Goodwill message, the Governor of Cross River State,Gov. Ben Ayade, represented by his deputy, Prof. Ivara Esu, appealed to the beneficiaries not to sell off the starter packsprovided by the NCDMB, but use them to practice the trade and improve the fortunes of the state.
“The state is giving you three years tax exemption, access to funds, different initiatives from the Federal Government and protection from multiple taxation,” he said.
Also speaking, Chairman of the House of Representatives’Committee on Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring, Rt. Hon. Legor Idagbo commended the NCDMB for the laudable initiative to train youths in the state.
While applauding the Board, he notified that the selection process of the trainees was random and not apolitical andadvised the trainees to practice what they had been taught, which would guarantee them a chance to succeed in life.
“It is the mindset that you have that will make you succeed; I want to challenge you to ensure that we see 50 to 60 per cent success from this training,” he said.