The National Directorate of Employment (NDE) has once again taken a proactive step towards fulfilling its mandate of generating employment opportunities for Nigerians. This Thursday marked the commencement of a comprehensive training program, aiming to equip 740 unemployed individuals aged 18 to 35 from selected communities across all 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) with valuable business skills. The initiative, aptly named the Community Based Business Training Scheme (CBBTS), not only empowers participants but also addresses pressing social and economic inequalities at the grassroots level.
The CBBTS is a strategic endeavor that aligns with the objectives of the Special Public Works (SPW) Department within the NDE. This initiative strives to create meaningful employment by actively engaging community members, organizational representatives, and employers of labor. Mallam Nuhu Abubakar Fikpo, the Director-General of the NDE, expressed the essence of the program by emphasizing its focus on “social, structural, and physical environmental inequalities.” This resonates with the NDE’s commitment to not only offer skills but to create a transformative impact within communities.
During the launch of the training in Isele-Uku, Delta State, Fikpo’s remarks illuminated the novel approach of the CBBTS. He highlighted that the program enables participants to connect theoretical business concepts with real-world experiences drawn from their immediate surroundings. This dynamic approach enhances knowledge retention, skill acquisition, and real-life application. He emphasized, “Participants can be given more opportunities to apply learning in practical, real-life settings.”
The objectives of the scheme are manifold. They encompass identifying viable skills and activities within the selected communities, imparting business-centric skills to unemployed individuals, fostering self-employment at the grassroots level, and creating a positive ripple effect within communities. Additionally, the program encourages a thorough understanding of local realities, thereby leveraging existing strengths, resources, and relationships within communities.
Speaking at the flag/orientation ceremony, Jinanwa Chukwuma, the Delta State Coordinator, underscored the broader impact of the CBBTS. This initiative has already injected a substantial number of artisans into semi-urban areas across all 36 states and the FCT. This achievement was facilitated by specialized skill acquisition training in competitive, demand-driven, and emerging yet marketable skill sets. Chukwuma emphasized that the essence of the CBBTS lies in its community-centered philosophy, thereby making it “Community-Based” rather than “Community-Placed.”
Chukwuma expressed profound gratitude towards the NDE Director-General, Mallam Nuhu Abubakar Fikpo, for his unwavering support and commitment to combating mass unemployment. He lauded Fikpo’s foresight in approving and facilitating the training program in Delta State. The Delta State Coordinator also acknowledged the pivotal role played by Kevin Okwuchime, Chairman of the Aniocha North Local Government Area, in ensuring the success of the training scheme. Chukwuma extended a heartfelt invitation to all stakeholders to join forces with the NDE in realizing its “Jobs-for-All” vision and contributing to the ongoing battle against unemployment.