The Nigeria-Korea Institute of Vocational and Advanced Technology built at a cost of N1.5 billion ( $3,5 mln ) was inaugurated on Tuesday in Lokoja.
The vocational training institute was funded by the Republic of Korea in partnership with the Kogi State Government.
The Korean Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Noh Kyu-Duk, speaking at the ceremony said that the institute was a reflection of the existing true collaboration and friendly relations between his country and Nigeria.
He said that the project was the outcome of a bilateral agreement between the Korea International Cooperation Agency ( KOICA) and the state government.
He said that its completion was made possible by sincere participation of the two partners.
Citing the experience of his country, Kyu-Duk said that vocational education remained the best option out of unemployment, poverty and social vices.
The Ambassador said that the establishment of the institute was sure to boost the economic growth of Nigeria.
“ When the youths are equipped with updated skills and technologies, their jobs shall be secured , income will be generated , poverty will be reduced to a great extent,” the ambassador said.
He urged the state government to make the best use of the facility to produce an excellent human resource for the socio- economic development of the country.
Kyu-Duk also disclosed that KOICA, apart from the contributing to the funding of the institute, had also provided five AIDS/HIV diagnostic equipments and five rice millers.
It had constructed 16 blocks of classrooms in the state in the past three years, while he said that the organization was willing to do more.
Also, the country Director of KOICA, Mr Jung Sang-Hoon, said that the institute had been fully enabled to provide students with quality technical and vocational training.
He said this would be in automobile engineering, welding and fabrication, electric technology and information technology.
He said that the institute had been equipped with modern technology and high quality equipment and curriculum to facilitate the learning process of students.
Sang-Hoon said that KOICA would continue to make steady endeavours to enhance the project sustainability; so that it could effectively serve the people of the state and Nigeria.
“ Through this project, I wish to see dreams of the youths come true, the value of technical and vocational education with skills more acknowledged , jobs and incomes more generated , poverty more reduced , quality of life and sense of happiness more enhanced,’’ he said.
Gov. Idris Wada of Kogi described the completion of the projects as a demonstration of a partnership that works; saying that the state government contributed N410 million ( $2.6 mln ) to the project.
He said that the project was conceived to arrest youth unemployment and restiveness and create wealth among the people of the state.
Wada promised that the institute would produce quality technicians for the manpower needs of the country.
He commended KOICA for training of some staffers of the institute in the Republic of Korea.
He charged the management and workers of the institute to ensure its proper management and utilization of the facilities there.
Wada said that the state government would not fold its arms to allow incompetence , corruption and mundane issues cripple its operation.