I am highly delighted to address you on this important occasion of the commissioning ceremony of Gombe Outreach Learning Centre here in Kumo, the headquarters of Akko Local Area of Gombe State. Let me begin by welcoming my colleagues the Executive Governors of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Taraba and Yobe States and indeed our sister the Honourable Minister of State for Transportation, Senator Gbemisola Ruqayyah Saraki and her delegation to Gombe State, the Jewel in the Savannah. We are indeed happy to have you in our midst today.
2. The siting of such a gigantic project in the State is not only apt, but timely in view of the programmes it will offer. For us here in Gombe State, we are indeed honoured for being chosen to host the Centre. I must therefore commend the Federal Ministry of Transportation and Indeed NITT Zaria for selecting Gombe State for the establishment of the Centre. I must say there would not have been a better choice than Gombe State because we are at centre of the North East Zone and share common border with all the other five sister States. I was made to understand that the Centre has been equipped with modern state-of-the–art facilities and equipment for Research, Practical and Theoretical training in all modes of transportation, thereby offering wide range of courses leading to the award of Advanced Professional Diplomas, Professional Diplomas and Professional Certificates in Transport and Logistics.
3. We are particularly happy to learn that the Centre will run skill acquisition programmes in Auto Mechatronics, Electrical, Body Work (Panel Beating), Spraying (Painting and Decorations), Vehicle Wheel Balancing and Alignment, Vulcanizing, Welding and Fabrication, Passenger Vehicle operation and Management, Tricycle Operation and Management, Motorcycle Operation and Management, Tractor and other Farm Plants Operation and management as well as Women Small Scale Business Enterprises Empowerment Programmes.
4. These courses will no doubt assist our youths with the relevant skills and know-how to realize their dreams and become self-reliant.
5. As you are all aware, this zone has been bedevilled with insecurity for more than a decade. This has affected the means of livelihood of the people especially the youths who form the majority of our citizens. The existence of this institute will offer an opportunity to acquire skills and become gainfully employed. Gombe state Government under my leadership is ready and willing to support any person who is interested in enrolling into programmes of the Institute. I’m therefore calling on our youth to take advantage of this exciting opportunity.
6. I must emphasize here that transportation is an important enabler of development. Any government or nation which toys with transportation is doing so at its own peril. It is in realization of the importance of Transportation to economic growth that the state government has been according the sector the desired attention. Apart from sustaining the services and operations of the Gombe State Transport Agency (Gombe Line), the State Government is equally providing similar support to the Gombe International Airport where aviation services are being provided to the people of the Sub-region.
7. Let me seize this opportunity to assure that the State Government will continue to support the transport sector to facilitate movement of people, goods and services thereby boosting the economy. It is on this note that I wish to appeal to the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Transportation to hasten the resuscitation of the Port Harcourt – Gombe- Maiduguri rail line to boost economic activities and ease transportation in these areas.
8. At this juncture, let me assure the Federal Ministry of Transportation and indeed the management of the Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology (NITT), Zaria of our support to the Centre to enable it achieve the purpose for which it was established. For a start, I wish to announce that the Gombe State Government will sponsor some youths to enrol in the skill acquisition programmes of the centre. May I also appeal to my colleagues to also patronize the Centre by sponsoring their youths to enrol in these programmes as part of efforts to build the skills and capacities of our teeming youth.
9. Thank you and May God bless us all.