Onitsha Shedrack ————————-
Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa has scored himself and his administration high in its empowerment programme, the governor at a press briefing at Asaba, Tuesday, said that he have continued to stay on course with his SMART Agenda despite the economic recession.
The governor who accepted the fact that the government have not to move much faster than it ought said: “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.”
Okowa explained 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 added, “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.”
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 micro-credit 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 micro-credit 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 emphasized.
However, the governor failed to give with empirical evidence how many of these youths trained in both YAGEP and STEP program are still in business, and their contribution to the state GDP and the impact on the economy of Delta State.