By Mary Obaebor
The Federal Government through the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) has endorsed the “Handbook of Skill Acquisition Training and Empowerment Programmes” as a national resource material on entrepreneurship, skill acquisition programmes, micro, small and medium scale enterprises development, recommending same for institutions across the country.
The approval was contained in a letter transmitted to the author, Dr Benjamin Onoriode Irikefe, and signed by the Executive Secretary of NERDC, Professor Ismail Junaidu, one of Nigeria’s foremost educational technocrats.
The Handbook of Skill Acquisition Training and Empowerment Programmes chronicles the author’s over 28 years’ involvement in the training and management of non-militant and militant youths, women among others.
With the adoption of the Revised Second Edition of the entrepreneurship book, otherwise known as the “Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) Approved Edition,” there is now a nationally approved handbook that can contribute to the exiting of Nigeria from socio-economic doldrums, when widely utilised alongside other government policies.
The Revised Second Edition was borne out of NERDC’s review and re-jigging of the 2019 Second Edition, based on her very strict prescribed standards and guidelines.
The Handbook of Skill Acquisition Training and Empowerment Programmes has accommodated the interest of diverse stakeholders, organisations and also suitable for general readership. This version has received numerous accolades from academic and renowned scholars.
According to Professor Olukayode Ogunsanwo of the Faculty of Renewable Natural Resources, University of Ibadan, “The book is a masterpiece, produced by an erudite trainer and a competent coach.
“It presents a comprehensive text on the principles, fundamentals and the practices of skill acquisition for myriads of distressed and volatile members of the society.
“It was meticulously written to provide information on a broad spectrum of training and empowerment programmes.
“The book is a must-read for policymakers and special coaches; especially the trainers of unemployed graduates, National Youth Service Corps members, restive youths, ex-agitators/militants amongst others.”
Similarly commenting on the entrepreneurship book, Professor Omole Joseph of the Obafemi Awolowo University—Institute of Agricultural Research and Training, Moore Plantation, Ibadan, concurred that “The author is a teacher, instructor, counsellor and a man of integrity.
“He has written and published a lot on skill acquisition. The book sheds light on what skill acquisition is all about. It covers the importance; it answers when, why, how, what about empowerment.
“The book is recommended for the teeming youths, men and women, private and public organisations.”
In the User’s Guide provided at the beginning of the book on entrepreneurship, the author warned that “Do not attempt to read this book at a go. Just take a cursory look at the contents and start with what is applicable to you as a person or your circumstance in particular.”
Even though the book is a whopping 1,072 page, the book was written concisely with summary points that the readers can easily grasp.
Recall, the author of the entrepreneurship book, Dr. Irikefe was the Chairman at the first Presidential Retreat on National Security in 2001; a member of the Presidential Panel on National Security 2001 – 2002.
He also worked with the defunct General Godwin Abbe-led Presidential Committee on Amnesty in 2010 and he made the famous Sambisa Declaration of 2019, which emphasises a large scale commercial use of the Sambisa forest likened to the biblical place of the skull or Golgotha as in John 19:17.