At 71, Otunba Temitayo Onabajo is not tired of learning. On Friday, last week, he was one of the 23 graduates who successfully completed the Technical and Vocational Education programmes at the Builders’ Hub Academy, Ifako, Lagos.
The septuagenarian spent three months studying Masonry at the Builders’ Hub, which offers training in trades relevant to building and construction.
In an interview at the graduation, Onaubajo, who retired as civil servant, told The Nation that he was motivated to take the course to rebrand himself.
“I am 71 years old and a retired civil servant. What motivated me is the need to rebuild myself. I am an advertising practitioner, a public relations consultant, and also a legal practitioner. I studied property and I decide that it is necessary to rebrand myself in building and construction as it is the most important industry nowadays”
“Being an elderly person, I still need to rebrand myself. In 1966, Tafawa Balewa said we should never wait for anybody to do anything for us because the person you are expecting to do it for you is yet to start his own. That is where we are today. I do not want anybody to do it for me, I prefer to do it by myself.” he said.
Chief Executive Officer of Builders’ Hub, Mr. Kehinde Owolabi, lamented that Africa lacked enough institutions to pass down applicable skills to young ones – a gap he said Builders’ Hub exists to fill.
“It is a reality that skill empowerment in vocation transforms people’s lives and cure poverty. Everybody is complaining about lack of skills, lack of job, and all of that. Our vision is to contribute our own quota in making sure that we can improve on youth unemployment and ensure that people are employed and skilled,” he said.
Speaking at the event, Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Education Mrs. Abosede Adelaja, urged the graduating students to remodel themselves with the knowledge they acquired from the institute as it will enhance their entrepreneurial skills.
Keynote speaker and Chairman, Skills Empowerment and Entrepreneurship Development Initiative Mr. Laolu Oguntuyi, said that most Nigerian graduates are not employable because they do not have the required skills. He told the graduands that technical and vocational education and training are imperative for wealth creation and poverty alleviation.
“Technical and Vocational Education and Training are the keys to generate jobs, wealth, prosperity and alleviating poverty.The required skills you acquire here will make you employable; it will make you to compete with your colleagues globally because in this centre, we have combination of so many subjects. You are not only being taught the technical skills, entrepreneurship is also embedded in your programme.” he said.