Sani Bello Seeks Support Of Chinese Government To Revamp Technical And Vocational Schools
Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger state is soliciting partnership, support and possible intervention from the Chinese Government in the areas of technical and vocational education to enable youths acquire skilled labour and become employable.
Governor Sani Bello disclosed this during his meeting with the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China to Nigeria, Mr. Zhou Pingjian (Ph.D) at the Chinese Embassy in Abuja.
The Governor, who decried the growing number of unemployed youths in Nigeria, noted that the country could come under siege in years to come if measures are not put in place to create jobs for the youths.
“I feel very uncomfortable with the unemployment situation in the country which is potentially dangerous for our security and it will become catastrophic if nothing is done now”.
He says the only solution to the unemployment crisis in the country is to improve on the country’s skilled labour, hence the need to engage the youths (Men and Women) in technical and vocational skills.
The Governor, therefore, urged the Chinese government to assist the state in optimizing this particular and all important aspect of the education sector, stressing that there is the urgent need to move away from the conventional secondary schools and concentrate on technical and vocational schools.
Governor Sani Bello disclosed that the state government would require a huge amount of money that will run into Billions to completely overhaul its six technical and five vocational schools to bring them to standard.
“The technical schools need to be rebuilt all over again. The financial implication is too much a burden on us as a government, but if we find away out, it will solve a lot of social problems in the state”.
He explained that the state government has also developed the agricultural sector and is working towards establishing processing firms across all the value chain in a deliberate attempt to engage the youths and make them productive.
Governor Sani Bello, while reiterating the call for assistance from the Chinese government, noted that if the technical and vocational schools are revitalized and the youths engaged, the too much, undue emphasis accorded university education will begin to diminish.
The Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Zhou Pingjian (Ph.D) expressed confidence in the ability of Nigeria to achieve sustainable growth and development.
He assured the state government that the Chinese government is open to supporting development programmes generally in Africa, particularly Nigeria, adding that his government will be willing to facilitate and aid the establishment of technical and vocational schools in the state.
“We’ll keep Niger State in mind when there is any window of support for funding of the education project. Infact, we could introduce some Chinese businessmen to have some discussion with the State Government for possible partnership and collaboration in its other areas of comparative economic advantage”.
Mrs Mary Noel Berje
Chief Press Secretary