Uyo - The Akwa Ibom Government will train no fewer than 300 youths on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and entrepreneurship programme, an official said on Sunday in Uyo.
The State Commissioner for Science and Technology, Comfort Etuk, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) the state government had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to this effect.
"We have signed an MoU with the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation and Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (NNPC/MPN) to train the youths in the state,’’ she said.
The commissioner said the youths would be trained on ICT and entrepreneurial scheme through the state’s joint venture with NNPC/MPN on Graduate Assistance Programme Phase Two.
She said the youths would be trained for two years, and at the end of the programme each of the 300 participants would be given a laptop computer at graduation from the programme.
"About 300 unemployed graduates will be taken off the streets and will be trained to become self-reliant.
"The giving of laptops to the graduates is to further enhance the entrepreneurial aspect of the programme, so that at the end the beneficiaries can start a job of their own,’’ Etuk said.
The commissioner said the programme was designed to enhance the employability and entrepreneurship skills of unemployed graduates in the state.
She disclosed that more than 450 unemployed graduates had been trained on ICT and entrepreneurship under the first phase of the programme.
Etuk said about 70 per cent of the graduates in the first phase of the programme had started working in different companies across the state.
The commissioner commended ExxonMobil for living up to expectations, saying that the joint venture had been sustained since its inception.
She appealed to other oil companies to emulate the kind gesture of Mobil in order to address the needs of Akwa Ibom indigenes.
Etuk charged the unemployed graduates to take advantage of the opportunity and acquire new skills in order to better their lives.