The Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineers has launched ‘Girls Auto Squad’ Project to train females graduates in auto-mechanic in Lagos and Abuja.
The programme was organised by Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineers (NIMechE) in collaboration with Nenis Auto Care and Auto Lady Synergy Coy Ltd, Abuja.
The National Chairman of NIMechE, Engr. Robinson Ejilah, at the inauguration ceremony of the girls into to the Girls Auto Squad Project said the project was put together to address the problem of shortage of skillful population in the economy.
He also said the project would help in building the capacity of girls and young women through productive skill acquisition to enable them realise their potential, bridge the gender gap in the male dominated industry, create wealth, and contribute to the nation’s GDP.
“While this project intends to achieve this on one hand, it also seeks to encourage gender inclusion and celebrate diversity as a deliberate social intervention project.
“It is employed to close the gender gap in the hitherto male dominated automotive engineering sector in Nigeria by equipping socially vulnerable girls and young women with requisite technical skills and competences through empowering and training programmes,” he said.
Also, Mr Jelani Aliyu, the Director General, National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC) said that girls’ empowerment is key to economic development.
He said that Nigeria should look beyond certification to capacity of individuals, what they could offer in the practical terms and not what they studied in school.
According to him, in other countries of the world, certificate is not relevant in getting employed, rather the skills acquisition is required.
He, however, said that the council was working with relevant stakeholders to ensure that Nigeria produces brand new vehicles at a very affordable prices.
Mrs Joyce Adams, the CEO of Auto Lady Synergy Coy Ltd, said that Girls Auto Squad (GAS) was conceived as an advocacy and empowerment programme for girls.
She said that GAS was a direct response to the myriads of challenges facing young girls in urban centres, absence of educational support and extreme poverty.
Adams said that the first phase of the project would reach 500 beneficiaries in Lagos and Abuja.
He said they would acquire the rudiments and relevant knowledge of running a mobile maintenance enterprise during the one-year course.
“They would receive ongoing mentorship and business management assistance to ensure that their enterprises are not only profitable but successful and sustainable.
“ The programme will provide a viable pipeline of skilled female technicians to establish their own entrepreneurial ventures by so doing the employment landscape will become more competitive and creative.