Paul Osuyi, Asaba
Five persons living with disabilities and of the same family were among the 745 beneficiaries of the third programme cycle of the job and wealth creation scheme of Delta State Government.
The five persons were trained in hair dressing and fashion design under the Skills Training and Entrepreneurship Programme (STEP) component of the job creation scheme.
Speaking with our correspondent on Wednesday shortly after the induction ceremony performed by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa in Asaba, one of the five ladies, Rita Okolie said they were affected by polio during their childhood years.
She confirmed that they attended the refresher course for one month, having be trained before now in hair dressing and fashion design.
Rita Okolie thanked the state government for the training which was organised through the Office of the Chief Job Creation, confirming that they have all received their starter packs from the government.
The state Chief Job Creation Officer, Prof. Eric Eboh had explained that this was the third consecutive cycle of the scheme since the administration of Okowa was inaugurated in 2015.
He said while the first two cycles were funded solely by the state government, the present cycle is being funded in collaboration with World Bank through the SEEFOR project.
Eboh gave the break down of the beneficiaries in their respective categories as 209 for brown STEP, 347 for green STEP, 159 for Youth Agricultural Entrepreneurship Programme (YAGEP), while 30 were selected from persons living with disabilities in the state.
Performing the ceremony, Governor Okowa congratulated the beneficiaries, and urged them to be committed through hard work in order to be able to expand their businesses.
“You must have the right desires as you begin to make profit. You must set your priorities right, and never contemplate misplacing your priorities. The steps you take should be for the growth of your businesses, rather than begin to live a life of luxury that will end up consuming both your profit and capital,” he said.
The governor further implored them to be good ambassadors of the scheme, explaining that it was as a result of the positive testimonies from those who participated in the previous cycles that the World Bank developed interest to fund the training and starter packs of the present trainees.
Okowa maintained that training of youths in various skills was the surest way out of poverty, saying that “we will continue to empower our youths. We may not reap the dividends immediately but I am confident that after ten years, the multiplier effects will be much for our state and nation.”