The Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki has offered to employ women (lady) mechanics to work in his administration by maintaining government vehicles.
The governor said as part of his administration’s strategic plans for competitive advantage, female drivers and mechanics would be encouraged to study at the Benin Technical College after retooling and rehabilitating the school.
Obaseki spoke yesterday in Benin, the state capital, during the graduation of 25 female mechanics said, “I want to throw an offer to you today. In the Government House, we have a workshop. We would like you to come and take a look at it and see if you can take over the maintenance of the vehicles in the Government House.”
The governor said his administration would partner the Lady Mechanic Initiative, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), to promote youth employment, in line with his electioneering campaign promises.
“The challenge we face today, the challenge of unemployment, the challenge of rebuilding our communities and society is not the challenge that rests on one arm of government or one set of institution alone. It is a challenge that all of us must unite to deal with – whether you are in government, whether you are in the civil society, whether you are in the private sector.
“That is why as Governor of Edo State, once I realized that this initiative had taken root, I said the least we could do was to come here and participate in the graduation ceremony of the last 25 of the 100 students this programme started with. I hope that the sponsor, Coca-Cola, will not terminate this programme with this set.
“I am going to make a passionate appeal, and if you need me to come to your headquarters, I will come so that this programme can be extended.”
The Governor who assured that government will rebuild and develop the Benin Technical College said, “My first official assignment when I resumed on Monday, the 14th of November was to visit the Benin Technical College. First, to send certain signals that I campaigned on the fact that we will create a minimum of two hundred thousand jobs – I meant it.
“So, my first assignment was to go to that institution that historically we had set up to develop manpower for industry and our economic life. I was really disappointed with what I saw, but from every disappointment comes challenges, and we are committed.
And as I speak to you now, there is a team at the Benin Technical College doing survey, re-establishing the size of the land, with designs and working out plans so that within the next thirty days, we would have awarded the contract for the redevelopment of that school.
“Benin city is a transportation hub – that is why the automobile business in this state is quite large. And as part of our strategic plan to make sure we have that competitive advantage, we would like to have institutions or initiatives like this that feed into our own plans.
“As you know, under the ECTS – Edo State Transport Service, with the Comrade Bus initiative, most of the drivers are female. We want to put more money into that initiative, and more importantly, we want to give them the capacity not only to drive those buses, and the new ones we are going to purchase, but to also maintain this process. We in Edo State Government will support and we will get other partners to support it”, the Governor promised.
In her remarks, the founder and coordinator of the female mechanic initiative, Mrs. Sandra Aguebor said she has been able to train and empower over one thousand female mechanics in Nigeria since inception in five states – Lagos, Benin, Kaduna, Kano and Abuja.
“Your Excellency, we are here to work with you. That burning passion that has been there for a long time, I can see that these girls will do more than we have done today. Coca Cola has just prepared the ground,” she stated.
“We want to scale up on what we are already doing. Your Excellency, Sandra Aguebor is here to support your administration. I have not got one sponsorship from the government of Edo State, but this time, I am very optimistic that it will happen. We want to be part of your administration, and a lot of these girls already have jobs. I think with you today, I also perceive that you are going to give employment to some of them,” she added.