…. 305 women also get clean stoves, cash
Three hundred and five women from Imo State have benefit from an empowerment programme organised by the Imo State Government in collaboration with an agency of the Presidency, the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI).
Also, the Government of Sen Hope Uzodimma, collaborating with NASENI, has empowered and trained 200 Imo youths on skill acquisition, particularly in the area of electrical installation and maintenance. They were gifted with kits and money to enable them commence work.
Governor Uzodimma’s administration is reputed to have set the pace in youth and women empowerment and has always collaborated with the federal government and her agencies to achieve that goal.
At the empowerment exercise on Saturday at the Rockview Hotel Owerri, Governor Uzodimma said that empowerment of youths has become an anthem for his administration.
Each of the 200 youths left with electrical installation and maintenance kits procured by NASENI and an additional N100,000 cash gift from the Government of Governor Uzodimma as seed money to kick off their new trade.
Also, all the 305 women were empowered with a cash gift of N20,000 each from the Imo State Government in addition to the clean stoves given to them by NASENI.
An excited Governor Uzodimma in his remarks thanked President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the Executive Vice Chairman/ Chief Executive Officer of NASENI, Mr. Khalili Suleiman Halilu for extending the privilege to Imo State.
The Governor who told the youths and the women not to forget the source of their empowerment urged them to put to good use the training they have acquired in their own interest and in the interest of the society.
Governor Uzodimma’s remarks read in full: “Today is a happy day for me. I am also sure that it is a happy day for the hundreds of women and youths of Imo State gathered here for this empowerment programme jointly undertaken by the State government and the National Agency For Science And Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI). I feel fulfilled each time I am able to put smiles on the faces of our youths and our women, I feel so because they are the future of the state. Therefore, whatever touches them touches me.
“Let me welcome in a special way, my brother, Alhaji Khalil Suleiman Halilu, the Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive of NASENI and his team to Imo State. When I received his letter concerning the five-day training and empowerment of youths in our state, I was very excited and immediately directed the officials concerned to give effect to his request. In his letter, he requested that we assemble a hundred youths from all parts of the state.
“However, due to my passion for the welfare of Imo youths, I made a request and was granted a concession to double that number to 200. It should interest you to know that Imo State is the only state that has empowered 200 youths at a go under this scheme. The skills acquisition training centres on youth empowerment on modern methods of electrical installation and maintenance is indeed a very innovative project that is designed to help our youths escape from the unemployment web. I have no doubt that the beneficiaries have received the requisite training that will enable them to be self- employed. Hopefully, they can also transfer the skills to others.
“Let me commend the management of NASENI for its thoughtfulness and diligence in seeing this exercise through. I am particularly impressed that this is a programme coming under the watch of the young administration of His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. That goes a long way to showcase the welfarist agenda of the APC led government at both the federal and state levels.
“It further signposts the fact that the APC has enough brooms to sweep away the sorrows of many Nigerians, particularly the less privileged. That is the benefit of having a large party with a large heart, firmly focused on alleviating the sufferings of the poor and vulnerable. That is the beauty and strength of the APC, the party of the people.
“So, when I ask you to vote for me and APC come November 11th, I know the benefits that are accruable to us as a people and as a state. I know that a vote for me and APC is a vote for a better, more secured future, where the youths, the women, and the less privileged shall always be reckoned with. So vote wisely, vote APC on November 11th.
“The youths have already been beneficiaries of this fortune and synergy between the federal and Imo State governments. When I came into office as the governor, I realised that we had to do something about the army of youths that didn’t have visible means of livelihood. I immediately created the Ministry of Youth Empowerment with a commissioner to see to it that we reversed the ugly narrative. Between 2020 and today, our prosperity administration has trained and empowered more than 50,000 youths. They are now employers of labour. Just last year, we further collaborated with the federal government when we trained some youths under a cluster arrangement and empowered them.
“Indeed, under our Skillup Imo Project, we have trained and equipped 20,000 youths on digital skills. So, for us, empowerment of youths is an anthem or signature tune. Very soon, 50,000 youths will also start their training on digital skills under the cohort 3 of our Skillup Imo Project. Our target is to have 300,000 of these youths trained and equipped in digital skills so as to enhance their capacity at self- employment and even be employable. These are deliberate efforts being made by my administration to boost the economy of the state by getting the youths gainfully employed.
“You can now understand why I am truly excited by this initiative by NASENI and the APC-led federal government. Apart from this training, NASENI has come with its customised Save 80 energy stoves for more than 300 vulnerable women in the state. I commend the agency for looking out for our youths and women. Let me, however, mention here that the selection process for the beneficiaries was fair and just. It was not based on political, religious, or other nepotistic considerations. The beneficiaries from today should understand the Igbo adage that says that etoo onye akidi, ya agwo ta ozo. The code is four over four on November 11th. The symbol is APC.
“I am glad to announce that through our partnership with NASENI, the 200 youths will today receive start- up kits while the prosperity administration will gift each of them One Hundred Thousand Naira as seed money to start their business. This is prosperity agenda in action.
“Let me emphasize to the beneficiaries that this is a lifetime opportunity that you should not toy with. By availing you of this training and capital, you are being encouraged to be financially responsible and independent. How you manage this opportunity will determine your destination in life. My own pledge is that I will continue to do all that is possible to help Imo youths have a head start in life.
“As we get into the election in the next two weeks, I want you and all Imo youths to comport and conduct yourselves peacefully in the exercise of your franchise. Don’t disrupt the elections and do not engage in any form of violence. I also expect you to make me proud in such a way that this largesse you have received today will be a Continuum.”
Earlier, NASENI boss appreciated Governor Uzodimma for agreeing to partner with his office, explaining that the experience was worth the while.
He thanked President Tinubu for believing in him and his team for the propagation of the APC-led agenda for a renewed hope for all Nigerians.
Mr. Halilu congratulated the youths and advised them to put to good use the skill they have acquired.
Chairman of the occasion and Provost of Alvan Ikoku Federal University of Education Owerri, Dr. Mrs. Stella Lemchi thanked both President Tinubu, Governor Uzodimma and NASENI for the kind gesture extended to Imo State through the programme and said coming from the vocational education background, the multiplier effect of the empowerment of the youths and women cannot be quantified.
She also advised the youths and the women who benefitted from the empowerment not to misuse the opportunity.
Two Special Guest of Honours – the Vice Chancellor of Kingsley Ozumba Mbadiwe University, Owerri, Prof. Ikechukwu N.S. Dozie and HRH, Eze Egwuogu, Bonny Ikenna of the Department of Political Science, Imo State University – in their goodwill messages thanked Governor Uzodimma for always putting the interest of the people first in his governance policy thrust.
Both dons said that Governor has continued to demonstrate that governance is all about giving to the people and that in the nearly four years he has been in the saddle, Imo people can testify to his commitment to good leadership.
They said the empowerment exercise will not only help to solve the unemployment problem in Imo State, but go a long way in impacting the larger society.
“This man called Hope Uzodimma has shown love humanity and Imo State is lucky to have him, Pan- Nigerian in the saddle today. He is the type of person In State needs now, not the local champions. That is why we need to give him our votes so that he can deepen what he has cultivated for Imo State,” Eze Ikenna said.
Some of the recipients of the empowerment assured Governor Uzodimma, NASENI and President Tinubu that they will put to good use use what they have received for free in the interest of the larger society.
Deputy Governor of Imo State, Prof. Placid Njoku, Speaker, Imo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Chike Olemgbe, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Chief Uche Nnaji, Chief of Staff to the Governor, Barr. Nnamdi Anyaehie, former Minister of Science and Technology (State), Chief Henry Ikoh, former House of Representatives member, Rt. Hon. Jerry Alagboso, members of the State Expanded Executive Council and other top government officials attended the event.
The highpoint was the formal presentation of the kits to the youths by Governor Uzodimma and NASENI boss under the keen watch if their entourage.
Chief Press Secretary and Media Adviser to the Governor