Bakassi Returnees, Odukpani Women, Youths Get Empowerment Packages

Rep. of the Hon. Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Usani Uguru Usani and Director Economic Empowerment MNDA, Mr. Braima Ali Akanya (Right) presenting Certificate to one of the beneficiaries on Monday.

The Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs in pursuant of the Federal Government policy on youth employment and income generation has put together a training and empowerment programme to forestall restiveness and create jobs in the Niger Delta Region.

The event took place in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State where 58 women and youths of the Bakassi and Odukpani Local Government Areas of Cross River State, were trained in fishery and poultry.

In his address, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani, who was represented by the Director of Economic Empowerment, Mr. Braima Ali Akanya said the programme was put together to support the youths and women who are in need of empowerment.

He tasked them on the utilization of the empowerment package they got and said they should count themselves lucky to be selected for the programme.  The programme which he said has been on for the past 5 – 6 years had some sad experiences of some trainees who lavished the money given to them and urged them to establish business had been trained on fishery, poultry and other value chain of production like marketing.

The Minister urged them not to depend on the little sum given to them which he called stipend but rather depend on the skills they had acquired, which he said was most important and will remain with them for life if they develop the skills further and move to a very high level.

Utilizing the skills acquired was key, he emphasized and pointed out that some trainees who in the past were serious and developed themselves are now consultants and engaged as resource persons in some of the Ministry’s empowerment programmes.

He implored them to be careful in the utilization of both the knowledge and the stipend given to them.

The trainees expressed joy and happiness over the training programme organized by the Federal Government through the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, and thanked the government for putting up such for the benefit of the youths of the country.

Speaking on the knowledge and the stipend, one of the participants, Elder Edet Okon said they would put into practice what they had acquired, touch lives also and make good use of the resources given to them.  But he appealed to the Ministry that the empowerment programme should not stop but continue as it will help the youths more.  He advised that the starter pack be reviewed upward in subsequent training programmes.

Each trainee was given the sum of Three Hundred Thousand Naira (N300,000.00) as starter pack.  The duration of the training programme was two weeks.

DD (Press & PR)