BENIN CITY – The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said his administration will continue to focus on human capital development to reduce youth unemployment in the state.

The governor disclosed this after signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) of the German Government at Government House, in Benin City.

L-R: Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) Country Director, Ina Hommers; Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki; and GIZ Head of Project, Skills Development for Youth Employment, Hans-Ludwig Bruns, at the commissioning of the Edo State GIZ office, in Benin City, on Thursday, February 11, 2021.

Obaseki said the collaboration between his administration and the German Government started in 2017 when he realised that aside tackling irregular migration, human capacity development and unemployment remain big issues confronting the state.

“It is significant to note that the journey started in 2017 when we came into office as we highlighted that migration was a pointer to more fundamental human capacity challenges we are having. As a state, we are clear on what the issues are and know that the responsibility of challenging our situation rests on us before help will come. We realised that human capacity development and unemployment are big issues in the state,” he said.

The governor noted, “In my first term in office as Governor of Edo State, I was very specific and I did what most politicians will not naturally do. I put a number on the jobs to be created by my administration which was 200,000 jobs.

“We worked very hard on achieving this set target because we want the best for our people. We realized that the issue of employment has a bit to do with the socio-economic environment but more to do with quality of the manpower.”

He continued, “As an administration, we chose to address the issue foundationally as we started with education. We have invested in education and reformed it from basic education. Our students are now learning with technology and are beginning to see improvement in their lives.

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“We appreciate your efforts in supporting Technical and Vocational Education (TVET) in technical schools, and also with efforts at enhancing technical and vocational training. We assure you that as partners, we will utilise the resources you have made available to us as we possibly can,” he added.

According to him, “I am quite impressed with what I saw in the entertainment hub when I visited. We invite you to come and see the amount of work done and the vision supporting what we want to achieve. This is one of the several areas of possible cooperation for job creation and capacity building.

On culture and tourism, the governor expressed appreciation to the GIZ on its projects in the state. “Thanks for the work you are doing at the Edo Museum to digitize all Edo works of art in every museum all over the world,” he added.

GIZ Country Director, Ina Hommers, said, “Edo State is important to the German Government and we look forward to strengthening this cooperation in future.”

Edo State coordinator of SEDIN, Blessing Ajumoti, presented the policy audit report 2020 to the governor, adding, “Last year we commissioned a policy audit report to mark the regulatory framework and business enabling environment regarding SMEs and investment promotion in Edo State. We are happy that today we are presenting the report to you.”