Delta employs 2,500 under youth empowerment scheme

Okowa


Trains 29 physically challenged persons
Delta state government has empowered over 2,500 unemployed youths and transformed them into owners of businesses and employers of labour under its job creation scheme.

The Secretary to the Delta State Government, Mr. Festus Ovie Agas, who disclosed this in Asaba recently said that the initiative was aimed at fulfilling the fundamental policy thrust of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa-led administration, which is anchored on wealth creation and prosperity for the people.

Agas said the success of the schemes has attracted commendations and support of many national and international institutions, including the World Bank, which became a co-sponsor for the third-cycle of the programme.

He said: “The State Government has redoubled its efforts in engaging Deltans especially the youths in meaningful ventures through various skill acquisition programmes such as the Youth Agricultural Entrepreneur Programme (YAGEP) and Skills Training and Entrepreneurial Programme (STEP).”Meanwhile, twenty-nine Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) have been included as trainees in the next batch of the Delta State Job Creation Programme, Skills Training and Entrepreneurship Programme (STEP).

The Commissioner for Women Affairs, Social and Community Development, Rev. Omatsola Williams, who disclosed this in Asaba, said the inclusion of PwDs into the job creation programme was in fulfilment Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s promise of prosperity for the people.

Mrs. Williams affirmed that the orientation programme was to enlighten the trainees towards the smooth implementation of the programme so as to achieve the desired results.She pointed out that 51 PwDs benefitted in the 2016/2017 cycle, while an additional 29 were to be trained in the 2017/2018 cycle as the second set, adding that the beneficiaries were evenly selected from every local government area across the state on cluster to cluster basis.

The commissioner explained that the beneficiaries would be trained for three to six months depending on their chosen enterprise using the Community Base Vocational Rehabilitation (CBVR) model approach, saying each trainee would be attached to a relevant trainer within their respective communities of residence and provided with an interpreter when necessary to facilitate learning within the stipulated period.

She enjoined them to take the orientation course seriously and warned that any trainee who was either uncontrollable or reported to be absent from his training centre would be delisted from the programme.

She harped on the activities of the State Government geared towards the welfare of PwDs to include maintenance of persons affected with leprosy across the state, regular rescue, evacuation and rehabilitation of mentally challenged destitute across the state, annual sponsorship of vision impaired trainees of Delta State origin to the Federal Farm Craft Centre for the blind in Lagos State to acquire skill in craft and regular purchase and distribution of various types of mobility aids and appliances to needy PwDs across the state.

Other activities, according to her, were appointment of a 10 member PwDs Steering Committee on the Affairs of PwDs placed on monthly stipends, 2017 luncheon in honour of PwDs in the state and collaboration with relevant NGOs, multinational companies and other government agencies on issues relating to the welfare of PwDs in the State.

The Chief Job Creation Officer, Prof. Eric Eboh, reiterated the state government’s commitment to the welfare of PwDs, adding that their inclusion in the job creation programme was to equip them with the necessary knowledge and skills required to make them self-reliant and business managers.

Prof Eboh noted that they would be given starter packs after their training period to establish their own enterprises and would be paid a monthly stipend of N10, 000.00 within the three to six months training duration.
  
The State Chairman of physically challenged persons, Isaac Obruche, lauded the kind gestures of the State Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, for running an all-inclusive government, tasking the beneficiaries to make good use of the opportunities so as to become self-reliant and to encourage the government to continue with the programme

According to Agas, a department of monitoring and mentoring under the governor’s office has been established to properly monitor the implementation of the programmes and mentor the beneficiaries.

He also said the contributory health scheme was central to the administration’s vision for universal health coverage in the State, saying its purpose was to improve the availability and access to quality healthcare services for all Deltans.

Agas noted that over 62 general hospitals, 107 Primary Health Care Centres, 10 private hospitals and the Federal Medical Centre, Asaba have been accredited for the programme, adding that due care was taken to ensure fair distribution of the facilities across the State.

He said while most public officers had enrolled into the scheme, the informal and private sectors were being mobilized to enrol.He disclosed that the Annual premium is about N7, 000 which may be paid in instalment while the government bear the premium of pregnant women, children under 5-years and widows.



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