The Federal Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (FMSTI) in Collaboration with the Oyo State Government has organized capacity building for unemployed youths and women in Ibadan South West Local Government Area of Oyo State, through technological and innovative bioresources intervention to improve their income for better livelihood.
The event that was held at the Conference Room of the Nigerian Institute of Science Laboratory Technology (NISLT), an Agency of the Federal Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation at Samonda, Ibadan, Oyo State, was well attended by a large number of women and youth from Ibadan South West Local Government Area and other places.
The Director, Department of Bioresources Technology, FMSTI, Engr. Isaac Nnamdi Anum while welcoming participants to the event aimed at reducing unemployment to enable people to earn income for sustainable livelihood through bioresources exploitation and sustainable use said that the present state of unemployment in the country poses a huge threat to the social and economic development of Nigeria resulting to all these efforts in addressing the menace. He further stated that the high rate of crime and social vices cannot be unconnected with joblessness among youths who are without any meaningful skill and also not in any entrepreneurship activities that could engage them towards self-reliance.
Engr. Anum noted that science, technology and innovation have been acknowledged as the hub for empowerment and eradication of poverty globally through the provision of technical solutions and capacity building to address challenges, reduce the time needed for labour-intensive tasks and develop marketable products and services to achieve a better standard of living. He further said that Nigeria is blessed with vast biodiversities and if tapped would generate income, which he said was the reason the Federal Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation in pursuit of its mandate is exploiting available bioresources for value addition to stem the increasing tide of unemployment through the Department of Bioresources Technology in the Ministry.
Speaking further he said, “Let me therefore at this juncture reiterate that the Federal Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation will continue to welcome and support innovative ideas, which will engender national growth through the deployment of science, technology and innovation tools in the country”.
While giving his goodwill message, the Chairman of Ibadan South West Local Government Area, Honorable Kehinde Akande who was represented by Mr. Bello Olumide Vincent opined that the youth and women of Ibadan South West Local Government Area especially those who were present for the training were privileged to be part of such laudable programme and therefore encouraged all the participants to take the training very seriously and ensure that they learn as they would be expected to practice on a large scale one of the three types of farming, for which they have shown interest and would be trained.
He assured the participants of improvement in their income and livelihood capacity if they put to practice all that they would be thought during the capacity building. He was at the programme with a Councilman in ward 8, Ibadan South West Local Government Area, Hon. Olukunle Akindele
The Director General, Registrar and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Institute of Science Laboratory Technology (NISLT), Mr. Yemi Hezekiah Gbadegesin while appreciating the efforts of FMSTI in partnering with the government of Oyo state in organizing the programme, he acknowledged the effect of the capacity building, according to him it would lift many lives out of poverty in Oyo State.
He advised the government of Oyo State to partner with NISLT in the area of science education especially in the training of science teachers, procurement of relevant and affordable science equipment, the right design and building of laboratories in post primary and tertiary institutions in Oyo State.
He suggested that science laboratories should be built in all the different Local Government Areas in Oyo State for easy access to science education to enhance the performance of students in their examinations.
Gbadegesin believed that the capacity training would expose women and youths to another level of life. He enjoined participants to replicate what was demonstrated at the training to others who were not opportune to be at the training.
The Governor of Oyo State, Engr, Oluseyi Abiodun Makinde who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Local Government Service Commission (LGSC), Oyo State, Mr. Akin Funmilayo in a goodwill message said His Excellency the Governor of Oyo State was glad to identify and support the initiative of FMSTI.
He encouraged all the participants at the event to seize the opportunity provided through the capacity building to acquire the knowledge needed to enhance skills in their area of interest to pursue a lifelong career in farming.
In her opening address, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (FMSTI), Mrs. Monilola Udoh expressed pleasure in the turnout of participants at the event, she said the level of unemployment in the country is high and worrisome, which is the reason all tiers of government are involved in the solution processes to ameliorate the challenges from unemployment in order to achieve a sufficiently crime-free environment and ensure that citizens are self-dependent on a sustainable manner.
The Permanent Secretary said the importance of science, technology and innovation in nation-building cannot in any way be underplayed as it is the bedrock of development of all successful nations through the application of science, technology and innovation tools for several interventions made possible to solve challenges in healthcare, agriculture, food security, environment protection, public security among others.
While assuring the participants that the Federal Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation was prepared to partner and provide technical support to local and state governments in the resolve to provide meaningful life to the citizenry, she said that the special training programme was established to create jobs through sustainable exploitation of bioresources endowment of Nigeria. I am therefore pleased to inform you that this programme is in alignment with the pledge of the Federal Government to take 100 million people out of poverty in the next 10 years, she said.