To ease their re-integration into society, the Edo State Government has graduated 302 returnees from Libya from her capacity building and skills development programme.
Chairperson, Edo State Task Force Against Human Trafficking, and Commissioner for Justice/ Attorney General in Edo State, Prof. Yinka Omorogbe, at the ceremony to mark the end of the two-week vocational and technical training programme, said “the graduation marks the first step in preparing the returnees on the path to becoming successful entrepreneurs and employers of labour.”
The second batch of graduands from the programme were trained on beadmaking, make-up and basic sewing, and their graduation is coming few months after the first set of returnees were trained on agribusiness and provided with 150 hectares of land and 100 million start-up fund to ease their settling into society.
According to Omorogbe, “163 of the returnees acquired skills in make-up; 92 in basic sewing, while 47 were trained in the art of beadmaking.”
She charged the graduands to be ambassadors of Edo State and expressed delight at the success of the programme. She said the state government will assist returnees who have successfully acquired skills in different trades to enable them set-up small-scale businesses through which they can provide for themselves and employ others.
Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to Edo State Governor on Anti-Human Trafficking and Illegal Migration, Mr. Solomon Okoduwa said, “The graduation ceremony has further demonstrated the commitment and interest of the state government in the fight against human trafficking and irregular migration in the state.”
He added, “Mr. Godwin Obaseki has shown that he will keep his promise to assist the returnees and reintegrate them into the society by providing them with sustainable means of livelihood.”
Okoduwa said that the graduands will be organised into co-operatives, which will enable them access credit facilities at zero-percent interest. He noted that “all the graduands will be required to register with the cooperative. Their progress will be monitored to see how they will put credits into good use. It will also help us breed entrepreneurs and employers of labour.”
A bank manager, who is also one of the facilitators, Mr. Michael Adetola, urged the returnees to apply financial discipline as they set up their businesses, stressing, “Financial discipline plays important role in managing small businesses. Without it, one makes wrong decisions, which account for the failure of most small businesses.”