MORE than 400 beneficiaries of the skill acquisition programmes of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s administration in Delta State had an exhibition program with Governor Okowa saying investment in Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) is the easiest means of reducing youth unemployment and poverty.
The exhibition program which took place in Asaba was witnessed by the Governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, wife of the Governor of Delta State, Dame Edith Okowa, Deputy Governor of Delta State, Barr. Kingsley Otuaro and his wife, Ebi; former Governor of Delta State, Chief James Ibori and many others.
“Globally, it has been established that certain economic sectors and activities hold the highest potentials for job and wealth creation for the economy; these are agriculture, agribusiness, agro-based industries, vocational skills-based micro enterprises, cottage enterprises, small and medium scale enterprises as well as public works such as environmental sanitation, housing and road construction; in fact, interventions in these sectors are generally cost-effective and go a long way to reduce youth unemployment and poverty, while ensuring social inclusion, positive economic growth and sustainable development as has been observed in many countries in South Asia, South East Asia and Latin America,” the Governor said.
He continued, “through our flagship Skill Training and Entrepreneurship Programme (STEP) and Youth Agricultural Entrepreneurs Programme (YAGEP), we have achieved what many thought was unthinkable; after two programme cycles, two thousand, three hundred and twenty four (2,324) previously unemployed youths are now small business owners and employers of labour.”
The Governor who lauded the products exhibition and business fair organised by the beneficiaries of Job Creation Scheme of his administration, disclosed that the beneficiaries were “trained and established in various enterprises including but not limited to ICT, hair dressing and makeover, catering and confectionary, cosmetology, craft/home care products, decoration and event management, electrical installation and repairs, fashion design and tailoring, shoe making, upholstery, welding and fabrication and auto-mechanic while the agricultural enterprises covered aquaculture, poultry, crop production, agro-processing and piggery.”
Chief Ibori at the event, said, “the people of Delta State did not make mistake by choosing you, Senator Okowa as their Governor, they believe you will deliver and you are delivering, thank you for remembering our youths because, at the end of the day, when we are gone, they will be the ones to take over from you and I.”
“I am indeed a Deltan and I have an opinion concerning issues in Delta State, I want to make it very clear, you have done very well and at the end of your eight years (Governor Okowa’s eight years as Governor), Deltans will be proud of you. Continue with your good work, we are solidly behind you and I want to call on all Deltans to continue to maintain the peace and security in the state so that this present level of development will continue,” Chief Ibori said.
Commissioner for Economic Planning in the state who is the Chairman, Steering Committee on Job Creation, Dr Kingsley Emu and the Chief Job Creation Officer, Prof. Eric Eboh said the exhibition would provide the beneficiaries of the skill acquisition programmes the opportunity to make vital business contacts, create business relationship with investors and communicate their business vision to financial institutions.