By Maryam Aminu, Abuja
The European Union and German Corporation has pledged support to promote Cashew Production and the Transportation Sector in Nigeria
Speaking at the press briefing held on the 6th April, 2022 at Envoy Hotel Abuja, the Country Director GIZ Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ina Hommers, addressed the Nigerian public and shared experiences about the positive and impactful work GIZ is contributing to on behalf of the German Government.
According to her, “GIZ has been supporting its Nigerian partners with technical cooperation for close to five (5) decades and focuses on three core areas: “Training and Sustainable Growth for better Jobs”, “Responsibility for our Planet, Climate and Energy” and “A World Without Hunger” with a focus on food security and agriculture”.
Speaking further, “the VET Toolbox interventions contribute to the Agenda 2030, especially SDGs: 4 (Quality Education) and SDG 8 (Decent work and Economic growth), which are in line with the priorities of the German Government contributions in Nigeria.
German Development Cooperation has been committed to increasing employment and income generation, as well as access to finances for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. GIZ supports demand-oriented vocational training measures and assists partners to adapt vocational training programmes to market needs, while also supporting Nigeria’s Federal Government in creating an enabling environment for MSMEs and various agricultural value chains.
“GIZ is delighted to be part of this multi-donor initiative and contributes to demand driven skills development in Nigeria, which fits very well into our overall framework and approach. This is why it is reassuring to see that VET-Toolbox has identified two intervention areas that contributes to the priority areas of the German Government contributions in Nigeria.
“As part of its interventions in Nigeria, VET-Toolbox will support the cashew sector, and the transport and logistics sector (Gig-Economy) with skills development and training programmes that are tailor-made to the capacity building needs and business development opportunities of the private sector. In both sectors the VET-Toolbox will also promote public private dialogue formats to be able to address the identified needs in the cashew and gig economy.
“For the cashew sector, the VET-Toolbox partnered with Julius Berger Nigeria, which has the objective to improve agricultural training delivery for the cashew sector and offer farmers and factory workers the opportunity to learn highly demanded skills in a growing sector to improve their capabilities and skills.
“For the transport and logistics sector (Gig-Economy), the VET-Tool box will be working with Glovo to pilot blended learning programmes to address needs in Road safety, service provision, Digital and financial literacy.
“Both interventions will contribute to the objective of reducing unemployed in Nigeria and provide relevant and tailor-made skills and expertise that ensures increased income for the individual and job promotion, most especially for the youth and women”, Hommers added.
In her address, Leila Ben Amor Mathieu (Head of Section, HD EU) expressed optimism regards the project, pointing out that it would go a long way in helping improve the Nigeria economy.
“These projects funded by the Vocational Education and Training – VET Toolbox in cooperation with the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is a welcome development and all thanks goes to the country representative”.
She added that the objective of VET Toolbox is to enhance the delivery of demand-driven skills development and VET, catering for investment needs in selected countries in Sub-Sahara Africa; through targeted skills development and VET programmes.
‘As for the intervention in Nigeria, the focal sectors chosen for support under the Toolbox are Sustainable Energy, Sustainable Agriculture, and Sustainable Infrastructure which are relevant to the developmental objectives of Nigeria as championed by the National Development Plan (NDP) for 2021-2025 and the EU new Programme for Nigeria covering 2021-2027.
As for our Nigeria programme, more will be done in those areas, especially under priority 1 Green and Digital Economy and priority 3 Human Capacity Development.
“We will be cooperating and supporting Nigeria with special attention focusing on climate smart agriculture, renewable energy, circular economy and digitalization with an eye to job creation especially for youth and women.
“Working as Team Europe, we also pull our resources together with the EU MSs; our Initiative “Green Economy Alliance” will bring together the EU, the EU MSs and EU Development Finance Institutions resources to primarily address issues related to climate smart agriculture, combined with access to renewable energy, and circular economy solutions.
Coming back to the VET-Toolbox projects in Nigeria, the one on sustainable agriculture has the objective of improving agricultural training delivery for the cashew sector and offer men, women and youth the opportunity to learn highly demanded skills in a growing sector, that are, however, also transferrable to other markets, and will stimulate employment or business activities along the cashew value chain is in direct alignment and complement our plans.
“The other Toolbox project in Nigeria, concentrates on the urban transport, assisting young Nigerians with their skills development to take jobs in this growing sector.
These TVET projects, among many others that are very much needed, are critical for improving the employability, job creation, economic transformation, and reduction of poverty. We at the EU stand ready to continue supporting this work and look forward to seeing the Nigerian youth and women prosper”, she added.
Speaking also, Kikelomo Oluwakemi Collins, Project Manager VET Toolbox stated that the European Union and the German Government are set to train 1,000 Nigerian beneficiaries including 500 farmers and factory workers as well as dispatch riders with 35% being women beneficiaries for economic sustenance
“At the end of the training, the initiative is expected to create employment and reduce poverty as well as create highly skilled Cashew farmers and processing staff that will improve the competitiveness of Nigeria in the regional and global Cashew Business”.