Teen mothers who are beneficiaries of the Nigerian Content Development Management Board [NCDMB] vocational training held at the International Institute of Tourism and Hospitality in Yenagoa, have commended the board for their benevolence.

The teen mothers who had since completed the programme also expressed happiness over the decision of the board to empower them through skills acquisition and starter packs.

At a close-out ceremony at the institute last Tuesday, the young ladies said life was bleak as teen mothers who were single and jobless, noting that the intervention in their lives by NCDMB has replaced hopelessness and despair with optimism and enthusiasm for life.

“Thank you, NCDMB, for giving meaning to our lives,” their spokespersons declared, adding that the social stigma associated with their material circumstances before the training has been taken away.
They promised to make the best use of the training and starter packs they have received and not only to be self-reliant but to be useful to their respective families and society.

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NCDMB’s deputy manager, human capital development, Mr. Augustine Timbiri, expressed satisfaction and joy that the 20 trainees who began the programme some six months ago have all been focused on their training and now possess the requisite skills, certificates and a bright future ahead.

He explained that capacity building is the core mandate of the Board and that vocational training in the areas covered by their programme, namely, catering and confectionaries, fashion designing, and hair dressing, was vital to the oil and gas industry.

“The importance of hospitality to the oil and gas sector,” he emphasised, is undeniable. While admonishing the teen mothers to appreciate what they have acquired, he said, “the era of certificates acquisition is over; it is now skills,” citing an example from micro-blogging giant Google, which he said hardly emphasised degrees but rather skills in job advertisements.

“No training gives you everything you need. You have to build on what you have acquired here. Character is very important [in service],” he said, adding that they need to work in teams to get things done.
The deputy manager expressed the board’s confidence on the competence of the institution in skill acquisition. “We have been collaborating with the Institute to deliver on capacity building and empowerment, and we shall continue to work together,” he said

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The rector of the institute, Professor Apuega Arikawei, thanked NCDMB for sponsorship of the training programme and the starter packs. To the teen mothers, his word was: “You have been empowered today to become entrepreneurs.”

To the NCDMB was a plea: “Expand the scope of the training,” so as to create opportunities for more citizens to acquire useful skills and be productively self-employed.

The training programme was sponsored by the NCDMB with collaboration from Stand Up for Women Society (SWS) and National Youth Service Corps Legal Aid Group.

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