By Ozioruva Aliu
THE Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba has called for the inclusion of compulsory community service in the curriculum of secondary and tertiary schools in the country to encourage charitable and volunteer work.
Agba stated this in Benin City at the 5th Graduation ceremony, 6th Matriculation and 9th anniversary ceremony of the Centre for Edo Delta Development Initiative (CEDDI).
Represented by his Special Assistant, Dr Philip Ugbodaga, Agba said the activities of the centre and other similar initiatives were needed to accelerate President Muhammadu Buhari’s plan to lift 100 million Nigerians from poverty in the next ten years just as he also commended CEDDI on its enlightenment programs on diabetics.
He said: “There is the further need for more collaboration between the Government and all NGOs operating in Nigeria so as to organize our people, create awareness in them and make them development oriented and problem solvers.
“Because of the complimentary roles community service and volunteerism plays in national development, it should be possible for our students to complete a certain number of hours in community service before graduation from secondary school or at the tertiary level.
These activities must be an integral part of our culture and should be included in the educational curriculums at all levels of education in Nigeria.”
On his part, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, Mr Kenneth Imansuagbon urged stakeholders in the state to take a cue from the state governor, Godwin Obaseki “in ensuring that the youths of the state are engaged in productive ventures by provision of skills and vocational centres in the state.”
According to Barrister Imansuangbon, who was the chairman of the event, “the situation of unemployment in this country and around the world is worrisome, therefore any initiative to keep our people off the street should ordinarily be supported by well meaning individuals.
“I am informed that CEDDI Skills Acquisition Centre & Diabetic Care Clinic started as an itinerant concept where healthcare and vocational skills such as Cosmetology, Catering, Beauty care etc are brought to the doorstep of the people who are among the not-so-privileged.
On his part, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Marcus Onobun, assured that the legislature would always be supportive of the programme whenever the need arises.
In his welcome address, the initiator of the programme, Chief Sam Igbe, the Iyase (Prime Minister) of Benin urged the graduates to always keep the flag flying by ensuring that they put to good use all that they learnt in the course of undergoing the training