‘Training Is Key To Creating Jobs’ | Independent Newspapers Limited
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‘Training Is Key To Creating Jobs’

Posted: Sep 18, 2015 at 12:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Goke Ogunwumiju is the chief executive officer of SGL Technologies, an ICT company that is based in Lagos. He is Microsoft certified trainer and has been in the business of training young persons in the past 17 years. SGL offers training in office applications, graphic design, web design, Microsoft-MCP, among others. In this interview, he tells Ikechi Nzeako how he has been training Nigerians and bridging the knowledge gap in the ICT sector. Excerpt:

What does SGL Technologies do?

I set up SGL Technologies, a ICT training and support company that focuses on providing service to small and medium enterprises, large organisations and others. We are into providing service and training. Our training focuses on bridging the gap between the skill required in the industry and the academic knowledge that prospective employees acquire in schools. So, we focus on the skills that prospective employees need to join the industry.

We do our training in partnership with ICT global vendors like Microsoft, Cisco, Oracle and others in order to do this effectively.

What motivated you to set up the company?

The motivation to start came from the fact that there is a wide gap between; there was a skill shortage in the ICT industry to service the tech companies that were springing up in many parts of the country. There was the need to fill that gap. The academic institutions in the country were not able to impart the technical skills that employees required to effectively play in the industry and we decided to do something about that. They have been able to develop the skills of their students and there was therefore the need to fill that gap. Having realised the shortage, SGL was set up to meet that need. We have standard laboratories; we have certified instructors, who have practical experience in the field.

Has the company been able to achieve its objectives?

We have been able to make a difference in what we do. SGL has been able to address part of the shortage by training persons, who are now occupying key positions in ICT companies across the country.

How many years has SGL been in business and how has the business been?

This is our fourth year and through collaboration with companies and academic institutions and vocation centres, SGL has been able to train thousands of Nigerians in different ICT skills from basic to intermediate and advanced skills.

In spite of your efforts and those of similar organisations, there are millions of Nigerians out there who do not have skills and are jobless? What do you say to such people?

It is important for an average Nigerian to have skills; a major reason for being jobless is lack of requisite skills. An ICT skill is a global skill, which can be used in any part of the world and the exploit you can do with your ICT skill is limitless. If you have relevant skills, you will be employed and you can employ other persons.

However, government has not rendered assistant to trainers like us who provide skills to Nigerians to grow the nation’s economy. Government has not partnered with organisations like ours to provide skills to Nigerians in order to boost technological know-how to the youths that are roaming the streets. We believe that if government can partner with us to equip those youths roaming the streets with skills, there will be a reduction in crime in the society.

How can government partner with organisations like yours?

We expect government at all levels to be involved in providing skills to Nigerians. We are a skills development centre and government should be able to identify those youths that are roaming the streets without jobs and pay for their training. We have approached local government to do this but it has not yielded positive results. There is the need for local governments in the country to sensitise and mobilise the youths in their areas and send them to centres like ours to be trained in different skills. If this is done, crime will be reduced in the country.

There are different SME funds promoted by government; have you tried to access any of the funds?

The facilities we have been able to put in place were through partnerships and revenue generated by the business. We did not sought loans from banks.

What is your assessment of the Nigerian business environment?

The environment is harsh, chaotic and unfriendly to business people. You need electricity to do business but supply has been erratic, but the situating has improved lately.