By Akin Ogunlade
For over a decade, a greater part of the stories emanating from the North East geopolitical zone of Nigeria is that of war and its attendant destructive effects. The overwhelming reportage of attacks, killings, and ransacking of communities have shaped people’s perception of the happenings of the North East which before the inception of the Boko Haram insurgency was a thriving part of Nigeria. These narratives are gradually changing with the visionary activities of the North-East Development Commission (NEDC) and the Digital Bridge Institute’s (DBI) astounding capacity to deliver digital skills training program.
In May 2022 NEDC and DBI struck a partnership to train 150 Automotive Technicians on Digital Vehicular diagnostics and maintenance at the Institute’s ultramodern campus/learning center in Yola. The training was designed to develop, equip, enable, and empower beneficiaries with hands-on skills in vehicular diagnostics and repairs.
Unlike most youth empowerment initiatives, the NEDC/DBI partnership was designed to have a preponderance of practical and hands-on skills, with the necessary underpinning knowledge. The training was benchmarked against global standards and the beneficiary received comparable training and learning experience obtainable in other climes in the world.
It is also pertinent to state that the program is one amongst the numerous structured empowerment initiatives of the NEDC; as part of its measures to constructively deal with the challenges being experienced in the North-East geopolitical zone in Nigeria. The program is part of the measures to support youths of all six states in the Northeast and make them self-reliant in a bid to address the restiveness in the region and reduce economic deprivations occasioned by years of insurgency.
The programs also have one of its outcomes to help beneficiaries improve their ability to provide better services to their clients, improve their financial status through their ability to provide digital diagnostic services for vehicles, and also to meet the objectives of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 1 which seeks to lift people above poverty.
As published in the Leadership on Monday, April 3, page 17, a leading daily newspaper in Nigeria; the NEDC/DBI programs have started yielding results. One of the beneficiaries of the training Mr. John Drambi in an interview with the newspaper at his garage in Yola, the capital of Adamawa State, stated that the training has completely transformed his business and has attracted new customers to his workshop.
He said he has also been able to institute a skills transfer scheme in his workshop to train his apprentices on how to do digital vehicle diagnostics and interpret the results of digital diagnostics checks on automobiles using the Onboard Diagnostic Tool and other devices he was given as a starter pack after the training Mr. Drambi disclosed that one of his colleagues, Muhammed Taliban, introduced him to the opportunities offered by the NEDC. In his words “Taliban submitted my name for the program, and I was invited to attend the training at Digital Bridge Institute Yola Campus” Mr. Drambi added that, with the experience, he gathered during the training, more customers patronize his workshop. In his words, “I get about 10-15 customers daily”.
Mr. Drambi thanked the North Development Commission (NEDC) and Digital Bridge Institute for putting smiles on the faces of Automotive Technicians in the North-East geopolitical zone of Nigeria and for also issuing beneficiaries a competency certificate that validates their skill. He appealed that this kind of intervention measures should be extended to other of his colleagues because so many people in their automotive technician trade would need these skills.
The Digital Bridge Institute (DBI) is grateful to North-East Development Commission (NEDC) for its choice of DBI as its preferred training intervention partner. DBI acknowledges the visionary effort of the Executive Vice Chairman of its parent organization; the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) for building and commissioning the Yola Campus of the Institute.
The Campus provides amazing training facilities that can be used by development partners for capacity-building measures. The Institute is also thankful to the Leadership newspaper for its reportage of the amazing benefits of the DBI training interventions. The story of Mr. John Drambi is just one among the many substantiations of the benefits of the NEDC/DBI Interventions. Expect more of these testimonials soon.