Delta State Government and Stallion Auto Keke Limited have commenced the training of 250 youths on repairs and servicing of Keke Bajaj Tricycles in Delta State.
The Chairman, Delta State Investments Development Agency (DIDA), Paul Nmah, who addressed the graduands of the first batch of 50 trainees on Thursday in Asaba, urged them to explore opportunities offered by the programme.
Nmah, while congratulating the graduands, said the training was part of the agreements reached by Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa with Stallion Bajaj company while singing the memorandum of understanding to establish an auto Keke Assembly Plant in the state.
According to Nmah, the trainees are authorised technicians having been trained by Stallion and issued a certificate to repair and service the Bajaj tricycles.
“This is for you to go anywhere in the world and use the certificate appropriately. So, when the assembly plant comes to Delta in a few months’ time, you will be there to fix identified faults and even assemble the tricycles.
“This is part of the skills acquisitions programmes of the Gov. Okowa led administration to empower youths and young women with the requisite skills to benefit from the Stallion Bajaj assembly plant in Okpanam, near Asaba,” he said.
On his part, Chief Lucky Oghene-Omoru, Director-General, DIDA, said that the training was aimed at ensuring the durability and sustainability of their products in the area.
According to him, Stallion is a multinational company with a variety of products with Bajaj Keke at the lower end.
” It was said that since they are establishing an assembly plant in Delta, after sakes maintenance service is very key.
“Therefore, to ensure durability and sustainability of their products, it was decided that experts will be trained across the state, this informed your training today.
He said that the state government has evolved short and medium-term plans to ensure the project survives in the state as part of measures to create and sustain employment and wealth for the people.
He said that the state government had approved a discount of 15 per cent for the cost of each Bajaj Keke produced when the plant comes up to encourage the sales and marketing of the product.
According to him, the government is already working with the tricycle(Keke) unions in the state; 70 per cent of the beneficiaries of the discount are indigenes including the trainees while 30 per cent will go to residents non-indigenes.
While congratulating them, he assured them that DIDA was making effort to secure a hire purchase deal for the trainees to own their tricycles.
The Project Coordinator, Mr Peter Okolie, said that the training would hold in five different locations across the state including Warri and Sapele, adding that 50 youths would be trained per centre.
According to him, the training began on Monday in Asaba and ended on Thursday with 50 youths participating and equipped with the requisite knowledge to handle repairs of Bajaj Keke.
The Stallion Team Lead, Mr John Emmanuel, expressed satisfaction with the ability of the trainees, adding that they had been exposed to various aspects of the automobile and that they are ready for the job.
He said that they had the mastery and could dismantle and assemble the vehicle with ease.
In his remark, Mr Smart Ekeh, Executive Secretary, Delta State Vocation Education Centre, tasked the trainees with the skills acquired.
According to him, the days of white-collar jobs are gone; training is important but a wasted effort when not put to use.
Some of the beneficiaries thanked the state government and Stallion for the training while pledging their commitment to putting the knowledge into use.
In an interview, the duo of Miss Chinyereugo Okonkwo “a graduate” and Johnson Kinsa, “an undergraduate” said they took to the training for their passion for automobile repairs and as an alternative to secure their future.
“It is really a privilege to be trained, I have passion for this and love being an engineer, that is what I studied in school, I graduated from Ozoro Polytechnic, Delta.
“After graduating, we all know how the country is now, so, we have to go into handwork and before this training, I have been repairing Keke.,” Miss Okonkwo said.
On his part, Kinsa said, “I am a student of University of Calabar, I already have a skill in repairing bike before I entered the university, so, enlisting for this training now that we are on strike is a great advantage.”
The high point of the occasion was the presentation of certificates to the graduands. nan.