Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia says the state government is poised to formalise technical and vocational education to increase job creation.
Ikpeazu said this in Umuahia, when officials of the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) paid him a courtesy visit at the Government House, yesterday.
The governor described technical and vocational education as a vital instrument that would impact positively and directly on the economy of the state.
He said that Abia had become known as a repository of skilled manpower, adding that the state government would not relent in providing avenue for the acquisition of excellent technical and vocational skills.
Ikpeazu said: “Our interest in education is focused on technical and vocational education.
“We are trying to educate our people so that they can make direct contributions to the main pillar of our socio-economic development which is small and medium-scale manufacturing.”
He called on the Federal Government to prioritise technical and vocational education as it had the capacity to tackle the scourge of unemployment in the country.
The governor reiterated commitment to fix whatever was necessary to encourage Abia State Polytechnic, noting that the institution was at the jugular of his administration’s efforts.
He however, said that accreditation of the engineering department of state Polytechnic was a welcome development.
He said that the government was desirous to introduce more programmes that would help in advancing the efforts made to encourage technical and vocational education.
Earlier, Mr Ngbede Ogoh, the acting Director, NBTE Polytechnic Programmes, said that the board was in the state to conduct the accreditation of the Engineering Department of Abia State Polytechnic.
Ogoh commended the government for its efforts in handling the challenges experienced by the Abia State Polytechnic.
According to him, the presence of the institution in the state would provide avenue for skilled manpower to be continuously produced for the manufacturing industry of Abia.
He urged the state government to do more to ensure that technical and vocational training as represented by the institution would be placed on a better pedestal.
Ogoh said that this would create more jobs in Abia, and enable the institution to compete favourably with others across the globe.