In a bid to lessen youths unemployment resulting in crimes,restiveness,cultism,prostitution and political thuggery,the Onitsha North local Government Area of Anambra State has educate and empowered youths in skill acquisition.
The training was conducted at the center donated by the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe, at Imeobi Umuezearoli Onitsha in 2018, where the youths were trained in fashion designing, bead making, crafting of necklaces, wristlets, ringlets, beauty make-up and traditional caps (Okpu Ozo), among others.
In the graduating ceremony held at Igwe Achebe’s palace, over 30 graduands of various skills were empowered with various equipment such as sewing machines/accessories, make-up kits, showcase stands and other items for their start up business.
The Onitsha North LGA chairman, Mr. Patrick Agha Mba, said that the effort was to complement the efforts of Governor Willie Obiano in engaging the youths positively.
“The idea is to develop the youths, who are the future of tomorrow. We train them for them to train others in return. We equally provided equipment for them to start as solid foundation for them to stand firmly,” he said.
Agha Mba said that the programme was aimed at investing in human capital development to end poverty in the area, stressing that it was Governor Obiano who gave the council the enablement to attain the height in serving the people and uplifting the youths of the area.
He said: “I want to use this opportunity to thank the governor of the state for his principles, actions and policies. You can see what is happening in the state where we have experienced serious development in terms of security and infrastructures. This setting up of the skill acquisition center is line with the policy of the state government to key in youths empowerment.
“The idea is to curb the unemployment being faced by the youths, because when you build the youths, you build the nation. The youths are 65 percent of the population and whatever you are doing without the youths then you are not talking about the progress of the state or the nation. The essence of this is to bring to an end poverty and reduce youth restiveness and make youths self reliant. To end spate of unemployment, you have to bring up entrepreneurship programmes”.
“The beneficiaries came from anywhere as far as you are residents of Onitsha North, whether indigene or not.
“The programme is free for anybody that has the ability to do business and desire to be trained. All our youths should be registered under Onitsha Youths Council as an umbrella body for all the youths and every youth should be there to benefit from other youths programmes.”
The chairman commended Igwe Achebe for empowering the youths over the years, saying that the council will continue to partner with the monarch in community and youths development.
He said that the council had in the past partnered with Igwe Achebe on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) at Igwe’s Palace where over 70 youths graduated as well as other skill and vocational programmes where some youths were trained in tailoring, bead making and snacks making among others.
The state Commissioner for Youths and Innovation, Prof. Theresa Obiekezie, said the grandaunts would be integrated into the state government youths empowerment programme.
She thanked the council chairman for empowering youths through skills and provision of equipment and urged others to emulate the good initiative of the council boss who has been in the forefront in youths empowerment in the state.
“Having being certified by the local authority, the Federal Government will now certify them and offer them grade two and grade three certificates. With that certificate, they can travel to anywhere in the world and offered formal employment,” Obiekezie said.
Igwe Achebe, represented by Chief Amaechi Uyanne, said that the programme and other programmes of the council will not only reduce unemployment but will also help in addressing security challenges.
“The white kola jobs are not there and those who are working needs extra income to support themselves. So, this programme will help the grandaunts to take care of themselves and create jobs for others,” he said.
0An Onitsha indigene, Mr. Harold Ekwerekwu, a lawyer, commended the council chairman for the initiative and urged the participants to thank God for the opportunity and and put the work to use.
Speaking on behalf of the participants, Onyebuchi Egbuna and Uchechukwu Agusiobu, thanked the council chairman and Igwe Achebe for the gesture and prayed God to continue to bless and protect them to do more for the society.
They promised to make use of the training and to train more people as means of giving back to the society.
The participants were presented with certificates and empowerment equipment by the council chairman and cabinet chiefs.
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