By Etuka Sunday
The National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), in collaboration with the SIMBA Group has launched the National Auto Mechatronics Training and Skills Acquisition Programme.
The programme, the Council said, will train and empower 500 youths in that state, including in Kebbi, Zamfara and Katsina, while subsequent phases will cover the rest of the states in other parts of the country.
Speaking at the kick off in Sokoto on Saturday as the Special Guest of Honnour, the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investments, Hajiya, Aisha Abubakar, the government and the ministry considers skills acquisition programmes such as this auto mechatronics training as a way of empowering the nation’s youths to become employers of labour, rather than waiting to be employees.
She commended the Council for the initiative, noting the ministry will continue to support programmes and initiatives that will create lifelong opportunities for Nigerians.
On his part, the Director General of NADDC, Mr. Jelani Aliyu (MFR), said the only viable future of Nigeria must be characterized by superior technical skill.
He explained that the training programme with the Simba Group was revolutionary because it is aimed at immensely boosting the operational and technical efficiency, confidence level and professional capacity of participants.
The director general pointed out that the programme is also aimed at addressing the work deficit in the auto repair sector of the nation’s informal economy.
“It is therefore further aimed at providing solutions to the service and maintenance problems of three wheeler vehicles through the production of competent craftsmen and women who will be enterprising and self-reliant”.
The event also featured the presentation of startup kits to the first group of over 100 trainees to help them immediately begin practicing their skills.
Also speaking, the Head of Northern Region of Simba Group, Sunil Korda, said the company is committed to adding value to the Nigerian automotive sector, and to working with government in boosting the technical competences of automotive technicians in developing the “TVS”, which is a new brand of three wheeler that the group produces, distributes and services in Nigeria.