Charity Simon, Abuja
Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani has charged women and youths from the Niger Delta region, who were trained by the Ministry on commercial snail farming, enterpreneurship and Information Communication Technology (ICT), to use the knowledge and skills gathered from the training to contribute to the food security and development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), in the region.
The Minister, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Alo Williams Nwankwo, gave this charge at a graduation ceremony of the training and empowerment programme for 64 women and youths from the Niger Delta region, held at The Polytechnic Ibadan, Oyo State, on Friday.
“This is one of the initiatives of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to diversify the economy, increase food security and generate employment for women and youths, in the Niger Delta region”, he stressed.
Usani disclosed that the training and empowerment package was put together to among other benefits; “Enable the trainees to be self-employed, engage others, manage businesses for effective enterprise development and be able to generate income for their families.”
In his remarks, Rector of The Polytechnic, Ibadan, Prof. Olatunde Fawole commended the Federal Government for the right step taken to train and empower Niger Delta youths and women, saying his institution would continue to welcome such a training programme.
Prof Fawole urged the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs to continue to enrol more youths in training of this nature, which he said was capable of arresting cases of youth restiveness in the Niger Delta region.
The training consultant, Dr. Benjamin Onoriode Irikefe, said: “The graduands have all been well trained to world class standards in the vocations they were schooled in- Information and Communication Technology and Commercial Snail Farming.”
The participants expressed gratitude to the Federal Government for the training and empowerment programme, saying they were looking forward to the extension of same to other youths and women in the region.
A statement signed by Marshall Gundu, a director of Press at the ministry, said highlight of the event included the presentation of training certificates, payment of a start-up capital of N300,000 and one laptop each, for the trainees, while those who did not collect laptop received the sum of N400,000, and other relevant materials that would aid them in setting up their businesses.