Governor Godwin Obaseki’s vision to transform the state into an industrial hub has gained renewed momentum as the World Bank has commenced engagements with the Government Science and Technical College (GSTC), Benin, Rehabilitation Programme to co-opt the private sector as key drivers of the Technical and Vocational Training and Education (TVET) programmes at the college.
Programme Coordinator, GSTC Benin Rehabilitation Programme, Mr. Giles Umesi, who said this in a chat with journalists, said that the World Bank team is in the state as part of assessment for a new project in South-south Nigeria, which will focus on driving economic growth with private sector participation.
He said the World Bank team includes the duo of Programme Leader, Muna Meky and Dr. Tunde Adekola, who are keen to see how the GSTC has immersed private sector players in the programme design at the college.
According to him robust structures have been put in place to integrate local content in the rehabilitation programme as well as in co-opting private sector to drive the programmes at the GSTC, noting that some of these were reflected in the Edo State Employment and Expenditure for Result (SEEFOR) project in the state.
Umesi further noted that the implantation programme is designed in such a way that the capital expenditure on the project enters into the local economy, “We have developed a strong private-sector driven plan for the college. This is coupled with the far-reaching local content strategy by the contractor and the companies to come on board. Already, we have Agen Aluminum, a heavy player in the windows and doors as well as roofing sectors.
“We want to use the workshops as production centers and also institute a flexible training programme for artisans and tradesmen in the state. Three other companies have expressed interest and are very willing to come on board soon. They are Dorman Long Engineering, Colours in Africa, which is into Furniture and Carpentry as well as Amena Academy, which will work on the Catering and Hospitality programme.”
He said that the increased interest in technical and vocational education led to the rescheduling of the recent entrance test into Junior Secondary School (JSS) I and vocational I for the 2018/19 session in the college.
He explained that the rehabilitation programme has been greeted with excitement by the people, adding that the recent call for admission had to be rescheduled to create more opportunities for people to get enrolled.
He said, “We are impressed with the enthusiasm shown by the people, as they are confident that we are doing a good work here. We were inundated with enquiries by people who said that the notice for the entrance examination was too short. That was why we rescheduled the exam. For us, this is a good sign. It shows that when the right structures are in place and when people see prospect, they will most likely go for the best.”