By Omololu Olumuyiwa

The National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) have been showered with encomium by the youths and stakeholders who attended the 17th Akwaaba African Travel Market on the free skill acquisition training organised  at the two days event held at Eko Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Akwaaba African Travel Market is an international travel, tourism and hospitality event organized annually in Lagos, Nigeria aimed at businesses, investors, governments decision – makers and buyers in the industry, providing business opportunities, industry news and showcasing products in Africa and around the world.

From left; Founder and Chief Executive, Savory and Partners, Jeremy Savory; co-organiser, Akwaaba Travel Market 2021, Mrs. Rita Ikechi-Uko; organiser, Ikechi Uko; Special Guest of Honour and Publisher, The Guardian, Lady Maiden Alex-Ibru; Director General, National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Otunba Segun Runsewe; President, Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN), Nkereuwem Onung and President, National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA), Mrs Susan Akporiaye at the opening ceremony of 17th Akwaaba African Travel Market in Lagos recently

At the opening ceremony of the 17th Akwaaba African Travel Market, Director General, National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Otunba Olusegun Runsewe stated that nations all over the world have resorted to skill acquisition as a tool of equipping their citizenry for competitive skills and entrepreneurship to boost the socio-economic status of  the youths most especially.

Presentation of certificate of participation to Christiana Folorunsho

Runsewe in his words said “this is one of the ways NCAC  adopted in removing the youths from poverty, and social discontent, and give them a new lease of life”.

“With the skills acquired, the beneficiaries would not only be self-employed, but would also generate employment for others, as well as spread the knowledge through training others’, Runsewe added.

In his comments, the President, Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN), Mr. Nkereuwem Onung lauded the good initiative of the NCAC with the introduction of skill acquisition at Akwaaba.

“Skill acquisition is one of the important pillars that help many youths in actualising their dreams and aid those who are not privileged to work with public or private organisations with academic certificates to have livelihoods. Skills increase employment opportunities and crime reduction in societies”, Onung said.

Speaking to Travelscope Magazine, Christiana Folorunsho, a participant of the free skill acquisition training said “Nowadays if you want to succeed, their is need to find alternative income sources, no matter how little you might be getting. The labour market is congested with many applications and few vacancies. That was the main reason I participated and am glad I did. Am surprised the trainers within two days could imparted such knowledge in us and I was excited that after our successful training, we are presented this beautiful certificates by NCAC”.

Presentation of certificate of participation to Yetunde Balogun

Another participant of the skill acquisition training on “Bead Making”, Yetunde Balogun commended the innovation of NCAC for introducing free skill acquisition at this year edition of Akwaaba.

“I have been attending Akwaaba for some years and am impressed to see this kind of free skill acquisition happening just like that. I have realised that people with skills are self-reliant and independent. Most skillful individuals are able to get some additional source of income even if they are employed. That prompted my decision to participate and moreover, no knowledge is wasted”

The participants received training in different fields, such as: beads making, traditional hair weaving and soap making.

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