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BOOK REVIEW

The Handbook of Skill Acquisition Training and Empowerment Programmes is a compendium that chronicles Dr Irikefe’s over 28 years of practical engagement in training and retraining. Dr Irikefe has been working with restive ex-militants, women and persons from the Niger Delta region and the South-South. The author has also carried out pieces of training in the core Northern region of Nigeria. There the training was done in trainees’ mother tongue. The author is well versed in skills acquisition training and has conducted training in all the geopolitical zones of Nigeria.

The Handbook has been generally acknowledged from different quarters as a masterpiece. The book speaks into the global realities of job creation based on self-reliance and economic independence on the plank of specific vocation training, empowerment and mentorship. 

THE REVISED 2ND EDITION 

This edition is a collection of further researches into the field of human growth and development beyond what the previous editions showcased. After a painstaking and critical review with inputs and recommendations made by the NERDC in the course of its review, the Handbook of Skill Acquisition Training and Empowerment Programmes (Revised 2nd Edition) was approved by the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC).  The book, is undoubtedly a national resource material on Entrepreneurship, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, MSME and Skill Acquisition Training.

Dr Irikefe’s work— Handbook of Skill Acquisition Training and Empowerment Programmes (Revised 2nd Edition) speaks to the components of Skill Acquisition Training and Empowerment Programmes which includes but not limited to: Vocation Specific Training, Soft and Life Skill Training, Entrepreneurship Development Training, and Post-Training Empowerment and Post Training Mentorship. This Edition highlights the major tenets of acquiring skills like Psychological, Psychomotor and Spiritual Strength of Trainees, as well as, the effectiveness of the use of local languages (mother tongue) in imparting knowledge to the Trainees. 

As a teacher, councillor, coach and trainer per excellence, Dr Irikefe in the Revised 2nd Edition projects 3-throng requirements in skill acquisition training models viz. Structural Capital; Relational Capital and Human Capital.

The book sees the impossibilities of effective vocational training and empowerment programmes without reasonable starter packs; which forms the fulcrum of skill acquisition. 

Additionally, the Revised 2nd Edition seeks a co-joined conventional educational curriculum and vocational and technical education so that youths and graduates can be equipped adequately with Vocational Specific Trade (VST) after graduation. With this, they can build a livelihood rather than suffering unemployment or going into avoidable crimes. 

The book has over 100 operationalisation and reporting templates. This makes it a unique cerebral work that will stand the test of time.

The book speaks to the need for re-integration, empowerment and mentorship of ex-militants, Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) members, de-radicalised Nigerian repentant Ex-Boko Haram operatives; Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and Nigerian refugees to enable them to live self-reliantly and productively. It espouses the imperatives of proper resettlement, reconstruction and rehabilitation of insurgency devastated territories and persons mostly in the North East.

The Handbook proffers practicable economic solutions which seek the creation of a Sambisa Joint Development Territory (SJDT). The Sambisa Forest according to the Handbook should be economically explored for commercial benefits through a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) initiative—to make the forest a treasure trove for the nation in a clear departure from being a haven for criminal elements including commercial hostage-takers.  The Handbook sees the Sambisa Forest from the prism of a business hub for Nigeria rather than leaving it vulnerable for the occupation of both local and foreign terrorists. 

  • The Revised 2nd Edition is comprehensive and well-articulated;
  • It is a further study beyond the previous works as it tends to provide a solution to the misery of poverty;
  • It is a total solution to the scourge of poor human capital, structural and economic development;
  • This edition provides a solution for global insecurity through the instrumentality of Vocational Specific Training, Empowerment, Starter Packs and Post Training Mentorship to remove majority of the world’s population from the woods of unemployment and its consequences;
  • With the operationalisation and reporting templates in this revised 2nd Edition, the Handbook suggests a new world order where creativity is the solution. 
  • The book exudes the capacity of the author to play around with words in super sentential accuracy in the simplest and understandable form.

I recommend this Handbook for the use of all academic institutions in the country, the Police and the entire security platforms for preparing their would-be retirees for their post-service life. Another category in which this book will be beneficial is the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members. The adoption and use of the Handbook by NYSC and Ministry of Youth Development will go a long way to produce a population of self-employed youths who can hold their own anywhere in the world. The Ministries of Education across the world should equally do the needful to enrol the Handbook into the curriculum for students to learn and reduce dependency on white-collar jobs. 

The author, Dr Benjamin Onoriode Irikefe, was the Statement Chairman at the First Presidential Retreat on National Security in 2001. He was also a member of the Presidential Panel on National Security in the Presidency from October 2001 to December 2002. Dr Irikefe worked under the defunct General Godwin Abbe-led Presidential Committee on Amnesty Programme in 2010.  He has also done considerable research works on community safety, illegal arms trafficking, oil and gas infrastructure vandalisation, illegal bunkering, corporate social responsibility, political violence, youth restiveness, militancy, terrorism, armed banditry, oil and gas assets protection, herdsmen and farmers conflict, youth empowerment, entrepreneurial mentorship and vocational guidance, community economic empowerment and communal crisis management.

TITLE: Handbook of Skill Acquisition Training and Empowerment Programme

YEAR OF PUBLICATION: 2020

DATE OF NATIONAL APPROVAL: 22ND DECEMBER, 2020

PAGE EXTENT: 1,072

AUTHOR: DR BENJAMIN ONORIODE IRIKEFE 

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Serumu Igberadja

He is a youth leader and a community development advocate from Sapele, Nigeria.
Email: zerumuhjack@yahoo.co.uk Phone: +2347034623644

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