No fewer than 20 teenage mothers in Bayelsa have enrolled for vocational skills training programme sponsored by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board(NCDMB).
The training is in collaboration with a gender advocacy group, Stand-up for Women Society(SWS).
The beneficiaries will be trained in fashion design, catering, make-up, and hair dressing at the Bayelsa State Institute of Tourism and Hospitality, located in Yenoga, the Bayelsa capital.
The beneficiaries will be given starter packs after the three months training programme.
Speaking during the flag-off, the Deputy Manager, Capacity Building, NCDMB, Mr Timbiri Augustine, said the board attached so much importance on training and human capital development.
He said: “We are all aware that capacity building is a core mandate of the NCDMB and human capacity development is critical.
“We cannot build our oil and gas industry without building human capital to work in the value chain of the industry.
“This is our first time of doing this particular type of training for this category of trainees and we can say that this is the pilot phase of the training.
“We hope to continue and if we are to continue, we have to look at the result.”
Augustine urged the trainees to take the training seriously because they were selected to benefit from among thousands of their peers.
“We expect maximum commitment. You have a role to play, we are playing our own role
“The trainers are expected to play their own role, just as you are also expected to play your own role and remain committed and align with our expectations.
“We have noticed that employment is limited but there is the entrepreneurship window that is open for all of us; there are only two ways to generate income either as a service provider or producer or both.
“These trainings will expose you to skills to become a service provider and a producer. At the end of the day maximise the trainings” Augustine said.
He thanked the stakeholders involved in the training, adding that the NCDMB knows the importance of partnership and collaboration in the actualisation of its mandate.
In his remarks, the Rector of the Bayelsa State Institute of Tourism and Hospitality, Prof Apuega Arikawie, thanked the NCDMB for financing different programmes in the Niger Delta.
He urged them to continue the programme, adding that the unique programme was aimed at empowering the young girls who because of one reason or the other got pregnant.
He said: “As a way to empowering such people to have a scheme for themselves to enable them take care of the child, the NCDMB thought it wise to organise this particular programme.
“The programme will make them entrepreneurs. The programme will reduce criminality, poverty in the Niger Delta and other anti social vices bedeviling the Niger Delta.
“The purpose of establishing this Institute is to ensure that the state government provides the enabling environment for those who want to be trained, and obtain their certificates in tourism and hospitality sector. Take advantage of it,” he said.
The Chairperson of SWS, Bayelsa State Chapter, Ms Eunice Nnachi, said the training programme was about social integration and giving hope to teenage mothers.
“We have the Child Rights Advocacy in SWS. It is a collaboration with NYSC Legal Aid CDS Group and sponsored by NCDMB.
“We are training 20 teenage mothers in fashion designing, make up, catering and hair dressing and the programme will run for three months.
“At the end of the programme, they will be presented with certificates and starter packs to fend for themselves and become self reliant.
“The beneficiaries were selected from rural areas within the state capital. We have put in place arrangements to ensure that the programme is well monitored and supervised,” she said.