A project termed ‘Girls Auto Squad’ was on Wednesday inaugurated by the Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineers (NIMechE) to train 500 females in auto- mechanic in Lagos and Abuja.
The programme organised by the Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineers (NIMechE) in collaboration with Nenis Auto Care and Auto Lady Synergy Coy Ltd, Abuja, is expected to address the problem of shortage of skillful population in the economy.
According to the National Chairman of the institute
Engr Robinson Ejilah, building the capacity of girls and young women through productive skill acquisition would enable them realise their potential and create wealth for the nation’s GDP.
In his words, “This project seeks to encourage gender inclusion and celebrate diversity as a deliberate social intervention project.
“It is employed to close the gender gap in the hitherto male dominated automotive engineering sector in Nigeria by equipping socially vulnerable girls and young women with requisite technical skills and competences through empowering and training programmes,” he said.
For his part, the Director General, National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC) Mr Jelani Aliyu, said that girls’ empowerment was key to economy development.
He further remarked that Nigeria should look beyond certification to capacity of individuals, what they could offer in the practical terms and not what they studied in school.
According to him, in other countries of the world, certificate is not relevant in getting employed, rather the skills acquisition is required.
He, however, said that the council was working with relevant stakeholders to ensure that Nigeria produces brand new vehicles at a very affordable price.
Also, the CEO Auto Lady Synergy Coy Ltd, Mrs Joyce Adams, stated that Girls Auto Squad (GAS) was conceived as an advocacy and empowerment programme for disadvantaged girls especially Internally Displaced Persons(IDP).
She noted also, that GAS was a direct response to the myriads of challenges facing young girls in urban centres, absence of educational support and extreme poverty.
“They would acquire the rudiments and relevant knowledge of running a mobile maintenance enterprise during the one-year course, and would receive ongoing mentorship and business management assistance to ensure that their enterprises are not only profitable but successful and sustainable”, Adams said.
The programme, she said, will provide a viable pipeline of skilled female technicians to establish their own entrepreneurial ventures by so doing the employment landscape will become more competitive and creative.