Delta Governor, Sen. Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, on Thursday, said his administration has created a platform for people to redirect their empowerment orientation for the unemployed in the society.
Governor Okowa disclosed this during the introduction of ‘The Transforming Nigerian Youth Programme’ in the state which was held at the Press Centre, Government House, Asaba.
The Governor who was represented by his Chief Economic Adviser, Dr. Kingsley Emu, reiterated his administration’s commitment to raising an army of entrepreneurs that would drive sustainable socio-economic development of the state.
He noted that one of the cardinal objectives of his administration was to promote wealth creation and employment generation through the various skills and entrepreneurial development programmes of his administration.
According to him, anyone desirous of empowering the unemployed could send any of such persons (the unemployed) to any of the skills acquisition training centres in the state at a minimal cost of about N10,000.
“Like as l always say, if you go to an upskill training centre to learn a trade (fashion, hairdressing and catering for instance), you are going to pay well over N400,000 and N500,000 from your purse but we have made our skill acquisition training programme so available and so affordable.
“So available because, we have the centres in 10 federal constituencies in the state and so affordable because we have subsidised the training extensively,” he added.
Governor Okowa pointed out that his administration had institutionalised skills acquisition in the various vocational training centres across the state, adding that there are quite a number of technical colleges running effectively well which, he said, should not be distorted.
“The Commissioner for Youth Development has already captured the entire empowerment programmes that we are running in the state and they are quite enormous.
“What we have done in the vocational centres is to institutionalise skills acquisition. We have technical colleges that are running and we don’t need this government or any other government to distort them,” the governor said.
While saying that the state government was very ready to key into ‘The Transforming Nigerian Youth Programme’ in its sincere determination to meaningfully engage youths in the state, he applauded MasterCard Foundation and its partners for coming to the state with the programme.
Also speaking, during the ceremony, the Commissioner for Youth Development, Comrade Ifeanyi Egwunyenga noted that Senator Okowa’s administration has been doing tremendously well in terms of youth engagement vis-a-vis its empowerment and other capacity building programmes for Deltans.
Comrade Egwunyenga who pointed out that the various empowerment programmes of the Okowa-led administration were specifically designed to reach out to different categories of beneficiaries, said that “The Transforming Nigerian Youth Programme’ was quite remarkable and something to identify with.
“One thing that l can assure you is that the MDAs that are involved with the state government empowerment programmes, have various platforms that are active both online and offline in terms of engagement and reach out.
“The platforms are very active for you to be able to reach out to the youths of Delta State,” the Commissioner added, even as he said that youths in the state were very vigorous, active and creative.
He applauded MasterCard for the programme, adding that the state government would give necessary support to ensure the success of the programme.
Earlier in her welcome address, Senior Special Assistant to the governor on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development (MSME), Orode Uduaghan said ‘The Transforming Nigerian Youth Programme’ was brought to the state by MasterCard Foundation in partnership with the Enterprise Development Centre, Pan Atlantic University.
She disclosed that the programme was aimed at creating a network of entrepreneurial and managerial change-makers especially youths and women between the ages of 18 and 35 years across the MSME with special focus on agriculture and creative sectors.
The SSA, therefore, urged youths in the state to leverage on the opportunities provided by the programme to enhance their socio-economic status in the society, just as she lauded Governor Okowa for his youth friendly policies and programmes.
In his presentation at the ceremony, the Director, Programmes and Partnership of Enterprise Development Centre, Dr. Oluwale Anifowose said the objectives of the programme were aimed at transforming the mindset of youths in Nigeria to become more entrepreneurial and to equip them to be self-employed or employable.
“To develop the management capacity, facilitate market access and provide support services to existing MSMEs being run by young persons in such a way that enables them to scale and create more jobs.
“And to engage relevant stakeholders through advocacy to enhance opportunities for job creation for youths, especially young women and to re-orientate Nigerian youth to see jobs within the MSME space as dignifying,” he said.