Akwa Ibom State Government is set to inaugurate a modern skill acquisition centre to boost entrepreneurship and ensure self-sufficiency among youths in the state.
The centre, located at the defunct Technical School, Ikot Ada Idem, Ibiono Local Government Area, about 8 kilometres from Uyo, the state capital, would offer courses in 10 faculties.
It will also house facilities for major sporting events.
Covering over 12.8 hectares of land, it is expected to accommodate more than 400 students.
Consultant to the project, Mr.Churchill Udoh, stated this on Wednesday while responding to reporters around the centre.
He noted the centre would also offer accommodation for refresher courses for high network individuals across the country, adding that the state government has secured international certification for some of the courses to be offered.
According to him, the international certification includes the City and Guilds of London in addition to that of the National Board for Technical Education and other relevant trade bodies including the Catering Institute of Nigeria.
He revealed that the University of Lancaster, University of Lagos and the University of Uyo have expressed interest to support some of the courses, adding that the 10 faculties would include Civil Technologies, Mechanical Engineering, Automobile Engineering, ICT, Fashion/Tourism/Hotel Management, Agriculture, Steel Fabrication, Carpentry Works and General Studies.
He said, “The centre is built to be self-sustaining six months after it commenced activities with the incorporation of commercial services to be executed by the students while both the short term and long term courses to be offered are expected to last between three months to one year.
“From the old technical college, we have added 18 brand new structures, a 1,500 capacity chapel/event centre, and three surveillance centres with CCTV cameras.
“We also built staff quarters, industrial kitchen and bakery for internal use and commercial purposes, a poultry for 45,000 birds, space for 65,000 free range birds, ranch to accommodate 4,000 cows and 6,000 other herbivores and a 60,000-litre water storage for irrigating the feeding areas for the herbivores,” he explained.
Udoh explained that the idea about the centre is to give opportunity to talented youths who could not go through a formal technical college and also graduates who could undertake short term courses in the different vocational courses and trades to be offered in the school.
He commended Governor Udom Emmanuel for the project, which he said would also provide the required manpower for the industrialisation programme of the state government.