Vocational Training Centre ‘Rotting’ Away in Delta As NGO Urges Communities on Facilities Ownership

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By Sam Akanimo

A vocational and technical training centre in the Egbokodo-Itsekiri axis of Warri, the commercial hub of Delta State is currently being underutilised.

The place is facing an alarming lack of patronage from the local community, despite its state-of-the-art facilities and affordable training programmes.

The place, Egbokodo Multipurpose Training Centre, was set up by the Delta State Government to provide vocational training and technical skills to citizens of the area.

But, the vocational and technical training centre appears to be struggling to attract the very people it was established to serve.

The Centre’s Administrator,

Mrs. Peace Okonye, is already expressing disappointment over the underutilisation of the place by residents of Egbokodo-Itsekiri, and its environs.

“It is ironic that people from other states are sending their students here to acquire skills, while our own community members are not taking advantage of this golden opportunity”, she lamented.

Mrs. Okonye highlighted the range of skills training programmes available at the centre to include carpentry, fashion and design, welding, and more, all offered at a low cost.

She explains that the centre has been certified by reputable organisations such as the National Business and Technical Examination Broad (NABTEB), National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF), and the International Institute of Welding, and has a proven track record of producing skilled and employable graduates.

She is lamenting that despite these advantages, the centre’s modern facilities and equipment largely remained idle.

She is therefore, making a passionate appeal to the host community and surrounding areas to take ownership of the center and participate in its programmes, emphasizing importance of skills acquisition for self-employment and economic empowerment.

“It’s time for our people to wake up and seize this resource. We can’t continue to beg for peanuts from leaders when we have the power to create our own wealth”, Mrs. Okonye added.

Accordingly, she is urging community leaders to sponsor local youth, especially in the riverine areas, to come and acquire skills at the centre, stressing that such initiatives would significantly reduce unemployment and poverty in the area.

This is even coming as the need for communities to assume ownership of healthcare facilities in their domain is been brought to the fore

Community Programme Officer of Malaria Control, Immunisation and Nutrition, (ACOMIN), Mrs. Joy Nwankwo, has made the call

in Okpanam.

The officer of the civic group spoke while addressing different groups of people in the community on their findings concerning the status of the Ogbeobi Comprehensive Health Centre and the Health Centre at Obodogba Quarters.

According to Mrs. Nwankwo, residents should contribute their quota towards the sustainability of the health centres and reminded them that they should not wait for the government to do it all alone.

She decried the state of the two health centres in the community, adding that as part of their advocacy, they had visited the health centres to ascertain the condition of the facilities.

Mrs. Nwankwo, who said that as a comprehensive health centre, Ogbeobi ought to have a doctor, stressing that despite the fact that the health centre has staff including a laboratory scientist, but healthcare facility lacked beds to admit patients.

While saying that most of the facilities at the two health centres were dilapidated, Nwankwo stated that having gone to the centres, they were in the community to meet the various segments of the people to see how they could assist in rehabilitating the facilities in the centres.

She asserted that most communities often neglected the use of the health centres and prefered the general hospitals, emphasizing that in communities where there were no general hospitals and federal medical centres, the people should see the need to make their health centres more functional.

Executive Director of Riverine Health Initiative, Honesty Omagbemi, and the community representative of ACOMIN, Mrs. Onyeka Onyesikaidi, earlier said that the NGO was interfacing between communities and the government to bring infrastructural development to communities.

They stated that ACOMIN deployed them to the field to check the state of the health centres in the state just as Mrs. Onyesikaidi hinted that some people in Ogbeobi and Obodogba had already indicated interest to support the initiative.

They said that the health centre at Obodogba quarters was in dire need of toilet facilities.

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