• Graduates of Nigeria-Korea Institute in Kogi To Get Jobs in Korea Coys — In-Tae
Kogi State Government and Republic of South Korea are set to foster stronger ties in the area of technical and vocational education in the state.
A recent meeting between Governor Yahaya Bello and the visiting South Korean Ambassador to Nigeria, His Excellency Major-General Lee In-Tae and other Korean officials was said to have centred on the formulation of a possible follow-up support to the Nigeria-Korea Friendship Institute of Vocational and Advanced Technology, situated in Lokoja, Kogi State capital.
The meeting was held last Tuesday behind closed doors at the Governor’s office in Lokoja. However, Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Onogwu Muhammed who gave details said the visiting Korean ambassador pledged to facilitate internship training for students from the institution in top South Korean Companies like DEAWOO, KIA Motors, Samsung and LG electronic companies.
He noted that the Ambassador also promised that the Korean government would assist Kogi government in providing allowances for both the teachers and students of the institution, affirming that they were looking for ways to expand the school in terms of enrollment and infrastructure.
Muhammed said Governor Bello Commended the Government and the people of The Republic of South Korea while he also gave assurances of his government’s commitment to the partnership.
The governor similarly pledged more commitment to vocational and technical education stating that relevant legislations, which would enhance possible follow ups in support of the institute would soon be formulated.
Major-General Lee In-Tae had in his delegation Woochan Chang, Country Director, Country Deputy Director Wonjun Bae, Programme Specialist David Nkwa, Lee Young Geol from Daelim University, who is the Project Manager.
Others are Professor Jin Kyung Lee of Dongeui University, Professor Joong Seon Lim of Dongeui University, and Hee Chul Han of Daelim University.
The institute for technical and vocational training under the management of Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), was built and commissioned by the immediate past administration in 2015, and got full accreditation of its programmes in 2018.
The “world class” institute is regarded as a huge boost to technical education and a model for technological training that is equipped to produce the best technical manpower to support industrial revolution in Kogi State, Nigeria and indeed the continent of Africa. It is expected to broaden the technological skills of the youths in electrical and automobile engineering, welding and fabrication; information communication technology. With the robust curriculum, content and exposure to be received by the managers, the institute has been positioned as a regional centre of excellence in technical and technological education. Graduates from the institute will not have to rely on the government for employment as they will be well equipped to take jobs in the private sector or establish themselves as successful entrepreneurs with little or no support from the government.
Meanwhile, during the visit, the envoy, Lee In-Tae and his entourage inspected the automobile, electrical and electronic, welding and ICT facilities at the institute.
According to the Korean ambassador, his visit to the facility was to acquaint him with the progress and development of the institute in the delivery of its core mandate of advancing technological growth in Kogi.
He noted that Korean government had given directives to Korean companies operating in Nigeria and South Africa to accommodate NKFI students for their Students Industry Works Experience Scheme (SIWES).
He added that the companies had also been mandated to offer free accommodation, transport and feeding for the interns, saying that the students would be considered for employment by the companies after graduation.
He stated that efforts were in top gear to upgrade the systems and equipment to conform to international standards.
“All is set to upgrade the installed systems and equipment as they have become analogue; this is necessary to meet up with international best practice in the ever changing world of technology. Our government holds the Institute dearly and will do everything to make it the best technology institute in Nigeria, Africa and indeed the entire world,” he said.
He added that four professors from Korea had been deployed to the Institution for one week to assess the needs and requirements.
In her remark, Kogi Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Mrs. Rosemary Osikoya, commended the Ambassador for the visit and his effort to reposition the institute, stressing that the institute was set to revolutionise technology in Kogi and Nigeria.
Osikoya noted that the National Board For Technical Education (NBTE) recently visited the Institution and had granted it full accreditation, thereby making it a full-fledged tertiary institution in the country.
She appealed to the Ambassador for the construction of Hostel facilities, even though the initial plan did not include the provision of hostel accommodation.
She said that the NBTE had also given accreditation to the state’s four Technical colleges and the establishment of Federal Technical and Science College in the state.
The Rector of the institute, Mr. Gabriel Okewu, commended the Kogi and Korean Governments for their unflinching support for the institute.