By Nick Chibunna
Cathedral Church of St Matthew, Atta, headquarters of the Anglican Diocese of Ikeduru, was in great mood last weekend when its newly established skills acquisition centre, “SUMMER SKILL ACQUISITION CENTRE” graduated its first set of students numbering over 168.
The impressive ceremony which was marked with a special thanksgiving and presentation of certificates to the graduands saw many people including the parents and guardians of the graduands expressing their gratitude to the organizers of the programme.
Speaking at the event in which many finished products were displayed the elated Bishop of the Diocese, the Rt. Rev. Emmanuel Chigozie Maduwike, JP, thanked the organizers of the programme for a job well done.
He asked: “Who says that Nigerian Youths are lazy?” According to the prelate, if the potentials of the Nigerian Youths are well harnessed, the country would witness an up- surge in industrial activities.
Bishop Maduwike called on the government and public spirited individuals to provide enabling environments for Nigerians to showcase their God-given talent for the betterment of all.
He lamented that Nigerian Youths are scattered in different parts of the world in search of greener pastures where-as there are abundant hidden and untapped treasures in the land waiting to be discovered.
The prelate descried the high rate of unemployment, especially among the youths, blaming it on lack of foresight and vision on the part of government of the day.
He said that real empowerment is equipping trained, talented and skilled persons for productive venture, not dishing out tax payers money to untrained and unskilled persons, describing such as a jamboree, and a serious mistake.
The Diocesan who later inspected the wide range of finished products thanked God for seeing the students and the organizers of the programme through.
Some of the products displayed include Ankara bags and shoes, string of beads, cakes and deserts, fruit drinks, multi-media and information Communication Technology (ICT) applications and others.
Speaking to Christian Voice, the Archdeacon of Atta Archdeaconry who also doubles as the cathedral sub-Dean, Ven. Sydney Akuwudike said that the scheme was designed to engage Nigerians, especially the teeming number of unemployed youths in productive ventures.
He called on the state government to partner with relevant establishments in skill acquisition in order to reduce the increasing crime rate in the land.
His submission was collaborated by the Rev. Canon Chidi Njoku, one of the facilitators of the scheme.
According to Canon Njoku, the scheme would instill self reliance and creativity on the part of the beneficiaries thereby making them employers of labour instead of job seekers.
One of the resource persons, ordinand Azuka Chukwunanu who took the students in multi-media/ICT and Leadership series said that the scheme would afford the beneficiaries the opportunity to brain-storm on the present high information communication technology.
Ord. Chukwunanu who is presently doing his apostolic work at the Cathedral Church of St. Matthew said that apart from exposing the students to leadership series and management of scare resources, it would boost their income.
To Mrs Gloria Akuwudike who took the students in bread making, food, Nutrition and catering services, the programme would bring out the best in the participants and make them masters of their own destiny.
Some of the graduands who spoke to Christian Voice were full of thanks to the organizers of the programme and in particular the bishop, the Rt. Rev. Emmanuel C. Maduwike for availing them the opportunity to showcase their natural talent.
Evang. Temple Chimeziri, who serves in the Cathedral Church of St. Matthew, said that he leant the art of baking cake and other confectionaries, and promised to improve on what he had leant.
Christian Voice leant that some of the students came from neighbouring communities and beyond, including Okigwe, Aba and others.