Okowa urges political office holders to lift Delta youths with training, funds
Group seeks more government empowerment programmes
Governor Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa of Delta State has challenged all political office holders in all tiers of government and philanthropists to henceforth adopt enduring and result-oriented poverty alleviation strategies rather than just distributing motorcycles (Okada) and tricycles (Keke) to members of their communities.
He made the call while addressing participants at the maiden edition of the Ika Economic Forum put together by Ika Village Square (IVS), a socio-economic and political pressure group in the state.
Executive Assistant on Communications to the governor, Fred Latimore Oghenesivbe quoted Okowa as saying that the state needed the collaboration of all stakeholders to achieve the desired prosperity
“As such, philanthropists, public office holders, local council chairmen, political appointees, corporate citizens and other persons should partner with the state government to attain a virile economy.
“However, we must adopt a paradigm shift from the distribution of motorbikes and tricycles to their constituents because that cannot entirely eradicate poverty in a recessed economy.
“Rather, members of our constituents need long-term economic benefits, which can be made possible through vocational and specialised skills training and acquisition, as well as the provision of start-up funds to promising entrepreneurs.”
He explained that the state’s Youth Agriculture and Skills Training Entrepreneurship Programmes (YAGEP and STEP) are deliberately tailored towards growing the state economy raise millions of young successful entrepreneurs who would in turn trend the progressive chain of socio-economic boom in the state.
Meanwhile, the Delta Democratic Platform (DDP) has appealed to Governor Okowa to create more empowerment programmes for the unemployed youths in the state. The group made this appeal at the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Correspondent Chapel Press Centre, Warri, during a courtesy call on the newly elected Chairman of NUJ, Michael Ikeogwu.
Chairman of the group, Paul Okotie, said the group worked hard during the 2015 campaigns to ensure that Okowa won the election, adding that having worked so hard for him, they were yet to benefit from the state government’s empowerment programmes. He regretted that most of the empowerment facilities meant for the grassroots people were being hijacked by the powers that be.
“Some of the empowerment tools like sewing machines, hair dryers and other artisan tools do not get to the grassroots. I want to appeal to governor Okowa to try and monitor the facilities meant to empower the youths.
“I am making this appeal because 2019 is around the corner and it is important that the grassroots people benefit from this government to encourage them to give their best in subsequent elections,” he stated.
Ikeogwu thanked the group for their visit and promised to do his best to convey their message to the governor. He urged them to continue their good work of supporting good governance in the state, noting that the society needs them.