Delta State Government has reiterated its commitment to youth demography and participation in governance, capacity building and various empowerment programmes as means of eradicating the scourge of poverty and unemployment in the state.
The State Commissioner for Youth Development, Comrade Ifeanyi Egwunyenga, stated this on Monday at the closing ceremony of the Boot camp for participants of the Delta State Tertiary Institutions Entrepreneurship Programme (TEP) held at the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Permanent Orientation Camp, Isle-Uku, Aniocha North Local Government Area.
Egwunyenga said that since 2015 when the Okowa administration came on board, he had ensured that youths remained the fulcrum of his administration by creating several platforms for youth engagement in governance and job creation programmes.
He said that job and wealth creation had remained the key drivers of the policies and programmes of the administration’s SMART AGENDA and now Stronger Delta vision.
He listed the youth empowerment programmes undertaken by the government with outstanding testimonies including the Youth Agricultural Entrepreneurship Programme (YAGEP); Skills Training & Entrepreneurship Programme (STEP); Graduates’ Employment Enhancement Programme (GEEP); Information and Communication Technology – Youth Empowerment Programme (ICT-YEP); Girl-Child Entrepreneurial Skill Training (GEST); Rural Youth Skill Acquisition (RYSA); Tertiary Institutions Entrepreneurship Programme (TEP); and Community Business School (CBS).
“To demonstrate that the Okowa administration’s ‘Prosperity for all Deltans’ is not a cliché, the administration funnelled lots of energy and resources towards the development and advancement of youths through various empowerment programmes.
“The state government adopted a multi-sectoral approach to reach wider demography of youths in different categories and with a clear cut agenda to revamp the course of youths in the state, the Okowa administration on November 20, 2019, upgraded the then Directorate of Youth Development to a full-fledged ministry.
“The Ministry is charged with a focus on meaningfully engaging the teeming youths of the state through entrepreneurship/skill development and Mindset/Value reorientation programmes.
“Since the upgrade, the ministry has ensured that 1,564 youths in the state have benefited from the Rural Youth Skill Acquisition RYSA while 1,250 from the Community Business School CBS and 143 from the Tertiary Institutions Entrepreneurship Programme TEP.
“It is therefore imperative to say that Governor Ifeanyi Okowa since 2015 has demonstrated undying passion for Delta youths in both words and actions,” Egwunyenga stated.
Chief Consultant to the programme, Dr Anthony Chovwen in his remarks said Governor Ifeanyi Okowa had added yet another “first” by introducing TEP an innovative youth-centred entrepreneurship program which resonates with the urgent need to address the time bomb of youth unemployment and creating a sustainable pathway to wealth and job creation.
He said the camp provided a very conducive teaching-learning environment for the participants with several evening sessions with clean socials and entertainment content.
“With all humility, I can say we had the opportunity of mainstreaming several shades of entrepreneurship programs across the country in the last 15 years and more.
“Never have we had a very detailed and comprehensive one like this and we need to thank the Delta State Government for making this possible.
“As the camp closes today, I am excited to present to you an army of highly energized, equipped, and ready-to-explode smart entrepreneurs who will no doubt change the narrative as far as youth employment is concerned,”
The State Chief Job Creation Officer, Professor Eric Eboh in his goodwill message, said the programme was the first of its kind in the state and country and urged participants to ensure they succeed in other to encourage the government to do more.
“This programme is the first of its kind in the state and country and as the pioneers of the programme, you owe it a duty to the government and your colleagues to ensure that you succeed to encourage more participants in the programme,”
Executive Assistant to the Governor on Youth Monitoring and Mentoring, Eddie Mekwunye, Executive Secretary of the Delta State Technical and Vocational Education Board, TVEB, Engr. Smart Ikem, Permanent Secretary in the ministry, and representatives of the state higher institutions attended the closing ceremony of the Bootcamp.