Lagos State Government is poised to train about 640 auto technicians and mechanics, as a strategy to reduce what the country is losing to foreign professionals and technicians.
Governor Babatunde Fashola unveiled the plan during the recent official inauguration of the CG EKO LLP Automobile Training Centre in Ikeja, where he added that dearth of technical professional was taking a financial toll on the country.
According to him, the state partnership with Coscharis Motors Limited to establish ultra-modern Automobile Sales and Training centre in Ikeja area of the state was borne out of the desire to ensure that vehicles are fixed in this country, no matter how sophisticated.
Fashola said: “Lagos State is a land of opportunities that gives you all you want to be if you are willing to venture, if you are willing to work hard and if you respect our laws. The sky is not even the limit irrespective of where you come from so long you are a law abiding citizen.
“What we see today is the result of the commitment of my team. Eko Engineering may have fallen sometimes, but it was a good initiative of former governors. It points to a challenge that somebody was thinking. We needed to solve a problem. Somewhere, it fell out of control and it validates the thinking that there are some businesses the government should not involve in.
“These are the things that strengthen our philosophy that public private partnership (PPP) is strategic to achieving our objectives in the state. The concept of ownership requires that we rethink and rework our model. What do we want to achieve? For me our greatest achievements would be the skilled personnel that we are going to turn out when the centre finally kicks off”, he added.
The governor said the government has no business running business ventures in which it cannot compete with the private sector, who, he said, has the capacity competence and expertise.
Speaking at the inauguration, Special Adviser on Public-Private Partnerships, Mr. Ayo Gbeleyi, said the automobile centre integrated with sales and after sales maintenance training institute and driver’s training unit “is the outcome of the state government’s partnership under a 25-year Joint venture with Coscharis Motors Limited.
“The centre would play considerable role in our capacity building and skill acquisition training programmes for our teeming of youth’s population leading necessary professional certifications.
“In this regard, this centre shall train 160 Auto Mechanics annually. It is expected that these graduates would in turn establish their own workshop across the state accessing micro- finance from the state and other sources, with tremendous multiplier effects on the whole populace,” Gbeleyi added.