The National Directorate of Employment (NDE) has commenced payment of stipend to 800 trainees in Delta to cushion the effects of COVID-19 lockdown.
The NDE State Coordinator, Mr. Tony Olu, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Asaba on Wednesday.
Olu said that following the lockdown occasioned by the ravaging coronavirus, the state trainees under its School-On -Wheels (SOW) and Basic National Open Apprenticeship (B-NOAS) schemes comprising 50 youths and 750 youths respectively, also went on break in compliance with a government directive.
He said that NDE Director-General, Dr. Nasiru Mohammed-Ladan had approved and commenced the payment of the stipend to 800 youths and women trainees in the state.
According to Olu, the director-general approved and commenced the payment of N6,000 meant for their three months transport allowance to cushion the effect of COVID-19.
“The director-general while releasing the funds, called on the trainees to resume immediately the lockdown is lifted to complete their training programme.
“This according to Mohammed-Ladan, will ensure that the overall objectives of the programme is not defeated but maximally utilised by the trainees to add value, create wealth for themselves, and become employers of labour,’’ he said.
Olu noted that participants in the programmes were drawn from across the 25 Local Government Areas of the state.
“I will like to recall that on Wednesday, Jan. 29 and Monday, Feb. 24, 2020, the directorate recruited 50 youths and women for SOW and another 750 youths and women for the B-NOAS schemes in Delta.
“While the SOW trainees were hosted at Azagba -Ogwashi-Uku in Aniocha North LGA, the B-NOAS participants were selected 30 persons per LGA from the 25 LGA in Delta.
“The SOW participants are trained on cosmetology, catering, bead-making, make-over, and satellite dish, while the B-NOAS participants are trained on fashion designing, hair-dressing, catering, computer appreciation, satellite dish installation and wielding,” he said.
The state coordinator said that the training would have ended in April and May but for the lockdown to contain the spread of the virus.
In a telephone interview with Miss Atini Igho, a B-NOAS trainee on Catering at Sapele, she confirmed receiving the N6,000 transport allowance for three months and expressed hope to return after the lockdown to continue with the training.
Mr. Joseph Ezekwu, an SOW Trainer on satellite dish installation at Azagba-Ogwashi-Uku, said he received an alert of N42,000 on Monday, April 20 from NDE as a trainer.
He noted that the amount was for his transportation and training fee for a period of three months.
Ezekwu thanked the organisation, saying that it was timely, particularly now with the lockdown.
He said he was prepared to resume training after the lockdown is called off.