The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, said leather products , which will effectively aid the growth of Nigeria’s  gross domestic product (GDP).

Dr. Onu made this assertion during the graduation of 34 trainees from Kogi and Plateau states and the matriculation ceremony of 48 trainees from the Internally Displaced Person camps from Borno State on Thursday 4th April, 2019 in Abuja.

The Training programmes which is sponsored by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Nigerian Institute of Leather and Science Technology, (NILEST) is designed to train specialized artisans on leather craft to enable them become employers of labour  in leather and allied industries.

Dr. Onu, further said ‘’if the nation could be well skilled and mastered in leather works production, we could move to develop more sophisticated technological areas’’.

He charged the graduating and matriculating students, to establish business ventures with the knowledge acquired from their training to create and sustain wealth from their expertise. More jobs are created by small and medium scale enterprises, urging the graduands   to establish viable leather businesses to benefit future generations.

 He said Nigeria could be an industrialised nation if leather and textile works are properly utilized. “When we properly utilize leather products, we will be in a better position to ensure our drive to be an industrialised nation to be irreversible”, he added.

According to Dr. Onu, the best way the nation could wipe out the scourge of poverty is by empowering her citizens with adequate skills. “The best way to fight poverty is to give people technology and technical know-how they really require, In order to improve productivity”, he added.

Earlier, the Acting Director-General of the Nigerian Institute of Leather and Science Technology, (NILEST) Dr. Eucharia Ngozi Oparah, said the leather industry has the capacity to employ thousands of Nigerians directly or indirectly across the leather value chain.

She also said the leather industry is a significant Foreign Exchange earner which contributes immensely to the nation’s GDP. “As you are all aware the leather Industry is a key player in the President Buhari diversification agenda”, she added.

She said that the Institute is delighted to be one of the implementing partners for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Nigeria towards empowering youths, women, retirees, refugees and physically challenged Internal Displaced Persons.

In his remarks, the UNDP resident representative Khardia Ndiay said that the UNDP will continue to work with leaning institutions to provide the skills and knowledge that victims of this decade’s long conflict will be able to utilise and help put them on a path to self reliance. He expressed hope that with this training, the graduates will be able to either start their own business or gain employment.

The Ambassador of European Union Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ketil Karlsen said  that the EU will continue to partner with the government of Nigeria and other stakeholders in rebuilding the lives of conflict-affected persons knowing that  contribution towards peace and stability in Nigeria is indeed contribution towards global peace and stability .





For Head Press and Public Relations

4TH APRIL 2019