By G9ija

Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta on Tuesday said his administration would continue to provide opportunities for the youth in the state to be self-employed and be wealth creators.

The governor stated this at the graduation and presentation of starter-packs to 776 beneficiaries of the state government’s Rural Youth Skills Acquisition (RYSA) programme in Asaba.

He said that the state government had various skills acquisition programmes aimed at grooming an “army of entrepreneurs“.

Okowa listed some of the programmes to include Skills Training and Entrepreneurship Programme (STEP), Youth Agricultural Entrepreneurs Programme (YAGEP), Women Empowerment and Skills Acquisition Programme (WESAP) and Girls Entrepreneurship and Skills Training (GEST) Programme.

He assured the people that his administration would continue to fund all the programmes till the end of his tenure ” to drastically reduce youth unemployment in the state’’.

“Hopefully, by that time the era of our young people roaming the streets in search of non-existent jobs would have become a thing of the past,” he added.

He explained that the graduation and presentation of starter-packs to the RYSA beneficiaries was another major step in the match towards building a new generation of small business owners in Delta.

“Less than a week ago, we empowered 437 young ladies with various starter-packs to commence their businesses. Today, we are resourcing 776 young men and women under our Rural Youth Skills Acquisition Programme (RYSA).

“As it is with all our entrepreneurship development programmes, they have been taken through a rigorous training regiment which included modules in personal effectiveness, business management and proficiency test.

“Those that are being empowered today have proved their worth and readiness to commence their entrepreneurial journey.

“I am pleased with the reports I received from the managers of the programme. This pioneer set has set a new standard for future beneficiaries as they voluntarily engaged in various community services at their own cost,” Okowa said.

He commended the Commissioner for Youth Development, Mr Ifeanyi Egwuyenga, the trainers and administrative staff for the successful conclusion of the first cycle of RYSA and urged the beneficiaries to remain focused by avoiding distractions.

He advised the beneficiaries to apply “the principle of deferred gratification” to enable them to grow their businesses.

Also speaking at the ceremony, Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia described Okowa as “a governor of class that believes in a prosperous society through human capital development and infrastructure transformation.”

Ikpeazu said that no society could break through if frantic effort was not made to re-orientate and develop the skills of youths, and lauded his host for giving Delta youths opportunity to achieve their dreams.

He charged the graduands to uphold integrity and diligence so as to excel in their chosen businesses.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Commissioner for Youth Development, Mr Egwuyenga, said that the 776 pioneer graduands started their training in November 2020.

He said that they had been trained in different fields to impact on the economy of the state and the nation.

A graduand, Princess Munachi Abraham, thanked Okowa for giving her the opportunity to be trained in welding and fabrication.

He pledged on behalf of others to maximise the platform to become entrepreneurs and employers of labour.

The graduands were trained in aluminum profiling, catering and confectionery, electrical installation and repairs, fashion designing, hair dressing and make-over, plumbing, screed making and painting, welding and fabrication, woodwork and furniture.