The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, on Monday, inaugurated Edojob centres in Uromi, Esan North East Local Government Area (LGA) and Uzairue, Etsako West LGA, reassuring that his government will continue to prioritise the youth, empowering them with the skills and knowledge to be globally competitive and contribute to sustainable growth and development of the state.

The job centres were constructed by the Edo State Government in partnership with the German Development Agency, GIZ; Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the German Cooperation and Skill Development for Youths Employment (SKYE).

At the event, certificates were presented to over 30 youths from Uromi and Auchi for completing an intensive 10-day training programme in photography and photo editing.

The governor said his government is paying critical attention to job creation and skills development, noting that his government will sustain efforts to guarantee a conducive environment for businesses and other investments in the state to thrive.

He said, “Job creation and skills development are top priorities for my administration. As I was campaigning in 2016, I went round the state and promised that in my first term in office, I will create a minimum of 200,000 jobs. I knew the jobs will not come from the government but from expanding the private sector and growing the economy of the state. Today, EdoJobs has provided support and services of jobs to almost 250,000 beneficiaries in Edo State.

“For us in Edo State, we are more concerned about tomorrow and our emphasis is on young people as tomorrow is more important to us. This is why, as a government, it’s a priority for us to invest in our young people.

“We would not stop in making sure that the bulk of our resources will be used in training our young people and redirecting them to be strong to help us build a better society tomorrow. That is why we have spent the bulk of our resources in basic education.

“We are reorganising our educational system, directing our students to learn in life and move from the era of certificates to the era where they will be equipped and find work.”

Hailing the support of partners in the development in various job centres across the state, “These centres will create opportunities for job seekers to have direct access for job placement, career guidance and counseling and acquire employability skills through the programmes run at the various job rural centres.”

“They are not only centres for giving opportunities for work and training skills but also business centres as we have business information desks that help to provide information to support small businesses on how to grow their businesses by giving them soft loans particularly micro and small business loans.”

He added, “Today in Edo State, we have almost N4 billion as loans for small businesses provided by the government in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Bank of Industry.

“I appeal to the CBN that rather than withdraw credit for small businesses at this time, they should allow us to reapply for small business loans to more businesses and even consider increasing the amount of such loans to enable us give opportunity to young people starting their own businesses.”