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Unlock Training Programme Enters Crucial Stage

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Participants thrilled by news of inclusion of trainees of Vocational and Skills Acquisition Centres in the Students Loan Bill

As the ongoing UNLOCK Training Programme enters its final and crucial phase, participants on Monday got surprise boosters from the senior special assistant to the president on technical, vocational and entrepreneurship education (SSAP-TVEE), Madam Abiola Arogundade, as she announced a decision to increase the number of grant winners and a promise of assistance in business registration.

Earlier last Friday, the fourth day of the programme, participants were also thrilled by the news that trainees of Vocational and Skills Acquisition Centres are included in the Students Loan Bill recently signed by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to enable them obtain loans for the duration of their programmes.
In her remarks during the question-and-answer session on Monday, the Day 5 of the training, Arogundade said her Office (OSSAP-TVEE) would assist participants, especially start-ups, to process the registration of their new companies after the training. She added, however, that the assistance would be for only those who do not win the grant while grant winners would be expected to process theirs with part of their grants.

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And welcoming the participants to the second week of the programme at the end of the day's training session, the SSAP-TVEE, who expressed delight at their continued enthusiasm, announced. “I want to encourage you to continue to come for every single class, to start with your Business Plans.
We have decided to include more people than we decided in the beginning for the grant; and so I want to encourage you to give us a reason for giving you the grant.”
Highlights of Monday's training session included the assumption of the training function by a new facilitator, Mr. John Eyok, who took over from Bukola Mayie and the visit of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Job Creation and MSMES, Hon. Tola Johnson, who exhorted the participants on the importance of the training they are currently undertaking.

On Friday last week, the chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Students Loans and Tertiary Education, Hon. Adegboyega Nasir Isiaka, who gave the news of the Students Loans Bill during a brief visit at the programme, explained that Section 2 of the Act clearly states that vocational trainees would henceforth be beneficiaries of the students' loans.

According to the committee chairman, the Act provides that fees and maintenance cost of students of tertiary and skill acquisition centres would be entitled to some amounts of money for school fees and maintenance throughout the duration of their programmes.

“What that means is that if you are in any particular skills acquisition training institution that meets the requirements of the board and management of the Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFUND), you can benefit from the facility,” the chairman said.


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