GOVERNOR Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, has said his administration is determined to empower youths with skills to ensure that they build a stronger Delta.
He stated this on Monday at the official handing-out of Starter-Packs to 2019/2020 Skills Training and Entrepreneurship Programme (STEP) and Youth Agricultural Entrepreneurs Programme (YAGEP) beneficiaries at Asaba.
Okowa said that his administration remained committed to ensuring that more youths and women in the state were gainfully empowered in 2021.
According to him, his administration recognised the importance of empowering the youths as leaders of tomorrow and will continue to ensure that no stone is unturned in that direction.
“When we said we are bringing prosperity for all Deltans and now building for a Stronger Delta, I believe that those who doubted us at the beginning will now have a rethink.
“In the last weeks we have been able to put together our youths for empowerment programmes under the COVID-19 protocols.
“Just a few days ago, 460 women were empowered on the WESAP under the Ministry of Women Affairs.
“The RYSA Programme was also held a few weeks ago with training ongoing. The GEST programme also started three months ago and I have been told many of them will be graduating this month end.
“We are reaching out to a lot of people and i am taking this opportunity to list these programmes so that Deltans will be aware of what we are doing.
“We do realise the importance of our youths in the society, a lot of them have sound mind but they don’t have the opportunity and it looks like they are lazy, but I know that we don’t have lazy youths in Delta.
“I am encouraged by the passion and enthusiasm of our youths because they haven’t disappointed us since 2015.
“From the reports available to me, I am encouraged by the passion and commitment of our youths to the success of their enterprises.
“The reports are encouraging and as you graduate today and receive your starter packs and shop rent support, I urge you all to stay committed and passionate about your dreams. Challenges will come along the line because life is not all about bed of roses but if you stay faithful to God you will truly succeed,” he said.
He appealed to all appointees and leaders to allow youths go for programmes after their hearts so that they can be a success story.
“Our youths are also helping us with security through the Land and Waterways Security Committee. It would have been worse without their assistance.
“Your success story is the success of the state because no matter how many roads we build, no matter how many schools we build and no matter how many health programmes we undertake, if we are not able to make the youths self-dependent we would have destroyed the state.
“Am thankful to Delta youths for their support and partnership and in the coming year, we will scale up our investments in the youth empowerment programmes,” Okowa stated.
He challenged the Job Creation Office to continue in engaging the beneficiaries with a view to helping them succeed in their various enterprises.
In his welcome address, the Chief Job and Wealth Creation Officer, Professor Eric Eboh said the job creation strategy in the state was yet another landmark step of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s drive to productively engage, economically empower and transform the youths of Delta from job seekers to job creators.
He said the 2019/2020 programme cycle covered 814 youths comprising 569 under STEP, 245 under YAGEP and 25 persons with disabilities (PwDs.
He added that 85 unemployed graduates also benefited from the job-readiness capacity building activities under the Graduate Employment Enhancement Programme (GEEP).
“Your Excellency, we are pleased to report that all successful 2019/2020 STEP beneficiaries have already received their starter packs and shop rent support, with exception of 65 graduands in Welding and Fabrication, 10 graduands in Tiling and Interlocking and 9 persons with (PwDs) who will receive theirs after this ceremony,”
Gloria Banwuzia, a beneficiary who spoke on behalf of her colleagues thanked the Governor for making them job creators instead of job seekers.