The Republic of Korea has promised to sustain it’s support to Nigeria’s economic development through Technical Vocational Education Training (TVET).
Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Nigeria, Rtd Gen. Lee In Tae, gave the assurance in Abuja during the inauguration ceremony of a three-month Industrial Training for students of the Nigeria-Korea Friendship Institute of Vocational and Advanced Technology (NKFI) Lokoja.
According to Tae, the event is symbolic because it is the first effort to strengthen industrial linkage with Nigeria in the Technical vocational Education training (TVET) sector.
He noted that Korea was an impoverished country in the sixties but overcame its poverty with a passionate “can do spirit” and its emphasis on Education.
”Today Korea is an individual powerhouse with leading mega Korean companies such as Samsung, LG, Hyundai and Kia at the forefront of global innovation and cutting edge Technology”, Tae said.
The Ambassador said that TVET remained the engine of economic growth and the master key of development to any given society, noting that Nigeria as observed have limited opportunities to acquire the skills needed to enter the labour market.
He explained that the absence of linkages between academics and industry were the main challenges of skills development in the country.
”In view of this, we have engaged leading Korean International Corporations, to provide internship opportunities to students of the NKFI Lokoja.
”This year, 11 students from three Departments of Electrical/Electronics, Automotive mechatronics and ICT will be going for the industrial experience and I am urging the beneficiaries to be good ambassadors of Kogi State and their institution”, he said.
He commended the provost of the Institute, Mr. Gabriel Okewu, for his diligence and commitment to duty.
While praising Kogi State Government for it support to the institution, he called for more in area of Hostel accommodation for students and utility vehicles.
Earlier, the Secretary to Kogi State Government, Dr (Mrs) Folashade Ayoade, represented by the Director of Admin and Finance SSG’s office, Mr Ephraim Amurawaiye, thanked the Republic of Korea for establishing the institution in the state as well as other assistance.
Ayoade noted that the three months industrial training would no doubt expose the students to Korean companies in Nigeria, saying the state government looked forward to partnering with Korea for the proposed second phase support to the institution.
Also speaking the country Director KOICA Nigeria Office, Mr Woochan Chang, commended Ayoade for being proactive and diligent in the discharge of her duties.
In a remark the Provost of the institution, Mr Gabriel Okewu, expressed gratitude to the Korean government and Kogi State governor for their interest in the growth of the institution.
Okewu, who appealed for more support, urged the students to remain good ambassadors of the institution throughout the Industrial training.
Speaking onbehalf of the students, Mr Onoja Peter, Spencer Anda and Ajoboye Damilola, expressed gratitude to the Korean Government and the Kogi State Government for a lifetime opportunity opportunity given to them.