DELTA State Governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa has scored his administration high in its empowerment programme.
The governor in his inaugural speech on May 29, 2015 had said, the performance of his administration would be predicated on a SMART agenda which is an acronym for Strategic Wealth Creation Projects and Provision of Jobs for all Deltans; Meaningful Peace Building Platforms aimed at Political and Social Harmony; Agricultural Reforms and Accelerated Industrialisation; Relevant Health and Education Policies; Transformed Environment through Urban Renewal.
Addressing a press conference in Asaba, Governor Okowa said, “I came in with the SMART Agenda and I have continued to stay on course despite the economic recession; yes I agree that we are supposed to move much faster than we are doing today, but, the fact remains that though the economy is bad we have continued to keep hope alive and to do that which we have been able to do and we will continue to stay focused on our programs.”
He specifically, observed that his administration has done a lot in the area of job creation, stating, “realizing that we need to create jobs for our unemployed youths, realizing that we need to grow the private sector and we are growing through the micro credit support and some other programs we have been running in the course of our governance.”
“In the year 2015 we had two main programs for the youths; the Youth Agriculture and Entrepreneurialship Program(YAGEP) and in that year we had 256 youths that were trained in agricultural production and we are happy to announce that they have all been established; we have visited some of them and they are doing very well and we are glad to announce the success of the program,” he said, adding, “in the Skills Training and Entrepreneurialship Program (STEP) we engaged 1044 youths and we have had a continued monitoring and mentoring program; we have created a mentoring and monitoring office and the reports we have received have been very positive.”
Continuing, the governor disclosed, “in the year 2016 YAGEP program, we trained 342 persons while in the STEP program, we trained 557 persons; the programs had their starter packs put in place and we had a microcredit adjustment because we believe that if we continue to meet the people’s need, things will be better for them, so, while we are providing them with starter packs, we are also introducing them to work with the microcredit scheme.”
“We have also started a program for people with disabilities, they have been engaged in the programs and they are currently doing very well; we also had the graduate employment enhancement scheme; most of the youths in the agricultural scheme are in clusters because we realized that it was the best way and we have been doing very well with the cluster system,” he emphasised