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The federal government has empowered 335 women and youth of the Niger Delta region with N100.5 million starter packs, as part of government’s efforts to reduce unemployment level in the region.
Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani disclosed this at the graduation ceremony of the participants held at Benin city on Friday.
A statement by Deputy Director Press, Stephen Kilebi, said graduation ceremonies also took place simutaniously at Ibadan, Oyo state, Benin City, Edo state, while the graduation ceremony at Uyo, Akwa Ibom state is scheduled to hold today.
Usani who was represented by the deputy director economic empowerment department in the ministry Mr Philip Ndiomu said the skills acquisition programme no doubt has paid off, as women and youth have been economically empowered.
He said the training has thereby brought peace, stability, socio- economic and infrastructural development to the region, as well as complementing President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s efforts towards addressing the unemployment and poverty in the country.
He, therefore commended the facilitators of the training programmes for hosting the participants in the last two weeks and impacting knowledge that would change the socio-economic transformation of the trainees and for contributing to the human capital development agenda of the federal government of Nigeria.
The minister also commended the participants for their perseverance and peaceful conduct throughout their stay at the training locations, urging them to take advantage of the knowledge and showcase the skills acquired to become self reliant.
The minister presented certificates and sum of N300, 000 as starter pack to each of the participants who were trained in poultry, fishery, confectionery, tiling and landscaping. He said federal government has given the starter pack as a means of empowerment to enable them take off.
Earlier, the director community development and education in the ministry, Mrs Lauren Braide, represented by the assistant director community development and education, Mr Goodluck Oyinvwe said the participants should put the knowledge acquired with their starter packs into good use and become employers of labour.
One of the beneficiaries, Mary Etaba commended the federal government for the training and empowerment programme. She said the money and the knowledge acquired would add value to their lives.