…Stakeholders Call for Youth Support in Skill Acquisition
By Daruwana Daku and Ebube Edieh
The 2023 set of St. John Innovation Institute of Management and Technology (JIMATECH) came to a close with a show of talents and exhibition of products in their different skills/crafts learnt on Saturday, October 14, at the school’s premises in Neni, Anaocha Local Government Area of Anambra State.
The exhibition, which wowed priests, religious, businessmen, academia, and skill enthusiasts, was heralded by an Episcopal Mass celebrated by the Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor in company of other priests.
The exhibition included fashion, cosmetology, bakery, graphics, among other products.
Bishop Ezeokafor, who incidentally was the brain behind the establishment of the institute in 1989, as well as the proprietor, expressed how much he valued the institution and what the students were doing with their youthful age. He stressed the need for the students to be encouraged and supported in what they did.
‘I value so much what is going on here, especially when I see young people who are aspiring to make a meaning out of their lives. I value it.
‘We need to encourage you, support you and make you work,’ the proprietor emphasized.
Speaking during the occasion, the rector of the institution, Rev Fr Raymond Umennajiuba thanked God for the gift of life and the gift of a wonderful institution like JIMATECH. He also appreciated the bishop for his all his guidance and support to the institution. He futher expressed the institution’s readiness to welcome the National Board for Technical Education, NBTE, in the institute for accreditation of programs.
For his part, the Chairman, Board of Directors, Chief Augustine Ibeme, Ezeani Udoaka na Neni, spoke glowingly on the exhibition by the students. According to Chief Ibeme, the students needed the support of the government, even though he observed that government always showed little support to entrepreneurs. He expressed the hope that the government of Gov Chukwuma Soludo would do more in supporting talents and skilled individuals.
Ibeme also assured them of their continued support for the students in the absence of government support.
Other dignitaries who called for support and Micro-loaning scheme for the students included the Chairman of the occasion, Chief Dr Greg Ezeilo, represented by Prince Ifeanyichukwu Celestine Azike; who called for soft loans for the students and beckoned on the Catholic Diocese of Awka and the Anambra State Government to partner in granting start-up loans for the students.
The All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, Anaocha Women’s Leader, Mrs. Ijeoma Sunny Egbuna, expressed amazement at the talents of the students and expressed optimism about government’s support.
Some of the students who spoke with Fides demonstrated happiness with the Institute and the skills they had bagged. The graduands called on the need for youths to seek admission with JIMATECH, noting that serene environment, the learning; both practicals and theories, aided them to excel.
The students included Stelle Chinaza Ezenwafor, who exhibited fashion; Stephenleo Chukwuebuka Anakwue, bakery; and Happiness Ezembamalo.
The highlights of the events were product and skill exhibition and entertainments.