Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State has revealed why he has paid special attention to the job creation cum youth entrepreneurship empowerment programme of his administration, saying the success of the initiative would largely mirror the success of his government.
Okowa stated that he is committed to young entrepreneurs who would become “key drivers” of the industrialisation policies of the government through economic diversification of the state.
He was speaking at commencement of the three-day Orientation and Personal Effectiveness Training (OPET) for 745 trainees under the Third Cycle, 2017/2018 of the state’s Skills Training and Entrepreneurship Programme (STEP) and the Youth Agricultural Entrepreneurs Programme (YAGEP) Songhai Delta, the state’s research centre near Sapele.
Speaking through the State Chief Job Creation Officer, Prof Eric Eboh, the governor observed that the OPET feature included in the entrepreneurship schemes were meant to be a total package or “real life training” designed to make the beneficiaries true ambassadors of the state’s industrial policies through economic diversification of the state.
While congratulating the trainees who made it into the third successful cycle since the entrepreneurial development and empowerment schemes were introduced shortly after the inception of his administration in 2015, Okowa said it was prompted by his vision to make youths in the state not just self-employed but job creators as well through ventures successful and sustainable business ventures.
According to the governor, “This is an opportunity you should not take casually. It is a complete package especially designed for Delta youths; you are at the centre of the programme right from the planning and implementation in line with best practices.”
To underline the commitment of the state government to ensure that the programme is sustained, the government is in partnership with the World Bank through the Delta State Employment and Expenditure fro Results Projects (SEEFOR), he disclosed.
Aside the OPET, which is the phase of training, he said that the job creation programmes include the STEP and YAGEP as well as the Graduate Enhancement Programme (GEEP).
“We are committed in building a new generation of entrepreneurs who do not onl;y have vocational skills but who are personally effective and can indeed hold their own in their respective chosen fields of business, disciplined and exhibiting ability to manage themselves, time and resources.
“We are poised to move you from the state of dependency to that of independency; to transform unemployed or misemployed youths to become gainfully employed and effective agents of economic transformation.
“Our vision is that you grow to become great entrepreneurs, business leaders and managers, because your success is our success, The success of this administration will be largely measured by your success.”
The trainees, after the OPET in Songhai Delta would be posted to various accredited training centres across the state where they would spend between three and six months to receive Entrepreneurship and Business Management Training (EBMT) before being empowered individually with starter-packs including “seed capital.”