By Cecilia Ijuo
The Chairman, United Nigeria Airlines, Prof. Obiora Okonkwo, has called on the Federal Government to create apprenticeship centre to curb rising unemployment in Nigeria.
Okonkwo, who made the call in Abuja on Monday, stressed that it had become imperative for government to adopt the system having been tested and trusted over time.
He was speaking when Mr Bob-Manuel Udokwu, Special Adviser to Anambra Governor on Entertainment, Leisure and Tourism, led delegation of youths on a courtesy visit.
The delegation was on a visit to thank the airline for its support towards the show, which includes free domestic flights for winners.
Winners were drawn from four categories, technovation, music, dancing and acting.
Okonkwo said, creating a centre for the purpose of prioritising apprenticeship would go a long way in creating employment and ensuring self reliance, particularly among youths.
The airline chairman, said his foundation had embarked on research on apprenticeship, popularly called “nwa boi” to find out why it had remained effective over time.
He said adopting the South-East apprenticeship model would go a long way in tackling youth restiveness.
He further said Nigerian youths were greatly endowed and only required little support to blossom.
“On our part we are continuing our commitment to supporting youth development not only in the creative industry but other sectors.
“That is the reason why my foundation carried out a research on entrepreneurship, using Onitsha Main Market as a case study.
“Apprenticeship is one of the biggest things that has happened to the South-East and it can be replicated across the country.
“It is one way we have been able to raise capital for young people to start up something for themselves.
“We have published a book about it and if adopted, it will help to reduce youth restiveness,” he said.
On the part of the youth, the don said it was important to maintain high moral standards.
According to him, one of the driving forces of apprenticeship is trust and discipline, adding that it did not require much of formal education.
He added that business owners always looked out for people who could be trusted irrespective of status or educational qualification.
Earlier, Udokwu, thanked the airline for its sponsorship of the show.
“I am here with the winners of Anambra Talent Show Season Two on a courtesy visit to say thank you to the Chairman of United Nigeria Airlines.
“He was magnanimous enough to say that those who win will get the opportunity to fly to any part of Nigeria at any point in time.
“So, we are here to say thank you to the company and the chairman, who is so benevolent.
“We thank him for making it possible to benefit from the operations of the United Nigeria Airlines, one of the fastest growing airlines,” he said.
He said, although the show was not funded by Gov. Charles Soludo was highly interested in youth development.
Udokwu, who is a veteran Nollywood actor, said Nigerian youths were multi-talented but required mentorship and support to explore their talents.
The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports that Nwolisa Paul, student of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, with “Legend 101″as stage name, won in the dancing category of the Anambra Talent Show.
Meanwhile, Jeremiah Sobechukwu, known as “Ecosafe Enterprise”, also a student, emerged winner in the technovation category.
Akaenyi Chukwubuikem, a graduate of Theater Arts and Film Studies, with the stage name “Ziggy Michael”, emerged winner in the acting category.
Okeke Chukwuebuka with the stage name “Howdy” and a Pharmacist, won in the music category. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Sadiya Hamza