Tony John, Port Harcourt
No fewer than 3,000 youths from Akuku-Toru, Asari-toru and Degema Local Government Areas of Rivers State, are currently undergoing a month’s tutelage in a skills programme.
The four-week Youths and Young Adults Training and Empowerment Programme, was recently flagged off by the State Deputy Governor, Dr. (Mrs). Ipalibo Harry Banigo. She said the programme was organised for the Old Degema Province. She described the training as a bold initiative to bridge the practical skills. According to her, the three coastal local government areas need to be abreast with modern realities.
According to Dr. Banigo, beneficiaries of the one month free special skills acquisition programme were expected to be self-reliant with intent to contribute meaning fully to the micro-economy of their respective Local Government Areas and the State.
She said the Christian based entrepreneurship programme was being organized in collaboration with Redemption Ministries, which had done similar programmes in Bayelsa State and the Western part of the country.
The deputy governor disclosed that the programme has unique features that is intrinsically distinct from other skills acquisition programmes.
She said: “Entrenched in this skills acquisition programme is fibre glass boat making, and ICT training that incorporates programming and networking. Participants will also have the opportunity to learn how to repair laptops and handsets”.
She said cinematography skills would also be imparted to the teeming youths to enable them fit into the Nigerian film industry, which, according to her, has gained global acceptance.
Dr. Banigo commended the chairmen of Akuku-Toru, Asari-Toru and Degema Local Government Areas for providing logistics for participants. She urged the participants to continue to support the Governor Nyesom Wike-led administration to enjoy more dividends of democracy.
The deputy governor expressed: “We know that it is definitely going to produce for us beneficiaries, who will be self-reliance and who will contribute meaningfully to the micro-economy of their respective LGAs and state at large.
“I must emphasize that this is a Christian-based entrepreneurship programme being organised in tandem with Redemption Ministries.
“We know that for us, this is a programme that will give us real dividends. So, we are going to ensure that we bridge the practical skills set that our local government areas need to be abreast with modern days realities that will require self-reliance.
“I want to believe that you have encountered other skills acquisition programmes. But, I want to assure you that this one those unique features that are distinct.
“You will agree with me that the Nigerian Film Industry has gained wide acceptance globally. And to this end, will be imparted cinematography skills to our teeming youths, so that they can fit into the film industry”, she enumerated.
In his remarks, the General Overseer of Redemption Ministries, Rev. Stephen Akinola, advised participants to take the training seriously.
He noted that the programme, which the deputy governor brought to the three Local Government Areas, was destined to transform their lives.
Akinola said: “This skills acquisition is designed to call your attention and to focus your attention on something. And by the time you go through it, you receive a holy device; and you know you came as a target.
“God will bless you through this programme in the name of Jesus.
“What we have just read in the book of Proverbs 31 talks of the industry of the virtuous woman. And you can see that more than seven items are enlisted there wherein you should put your hands wherever she finds an opportunity.
“God will make all of you virtuous me and virtuous women in the name of Jesus. On this note, I want to declare this skills acquisition open”, Akinola declared.
Also, giving an overview, the Programme Coordinator, Pastor Christopher Briggs, said in the next four weeks, participants would interact with seasoned lecturers and facilitators drawn from diverse professions and backgrounds.
He noted that it would involve the teaching of skills and handworks that youths can depend on to become young business owners, financially independent and productive citizens.
He noted: “This programme is designed to give our youths the sense of direction and to live a life that has a future. I also want to implore our youths to embrace this programme very dearly for the benefit of their future”.
In their goodwill messages, the chairmen of Akuku-Toru, Asari-Toru and Degema Local Government Areas thanked the Deputy Governor, for initiating the programme and pledged to support the programme.
The Amayanabo of Kalabari King (Prof.) T.J.T. Princewill, Amayanabo of Abonnema, King Disrael Gbobo Bob Manuel, were represented at the occasion.
The deputy governor had earlier paid a courtesy call on King Reuben Zechariah Amos, the Onu-Onyan-Ekein of Udekama (Degema) Kingdom in his palace.