Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has flagged off the Abia State Youth Employment and Social Support Operations (YESSO) programme in the state, with 3,863 Public Workfare (PWF) and Skills for Job (S4J) beneficiaries.
YESSO is a world bank-assisted programme anchored through the Federal government with Abia being the last qualifying state of the scheme and the only participating state in the South East region. Beneficiaries of the programme will be paid a monthly stipend of N 7,500 which will enable them engage in economic activities. Only states with existing human resources development project are qualified to participate in the programme.
Speaking at the flag off the programme at the International Conference Centre in Umuahia, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu said that the programme was tailored towards enhancing capacity, growing economy, and charged beneficiaries to go and make Abia proud.
“This programme is tailored towards enhancing capacity, growing economy. Therefore, the beneficiaries must cease the moment and make our state and their families proud. I enjoin you today to make sure you multiply and grow whatever that has been given to your hand to deliver so that you can be better citizens not only for your family but for Abia and Nigeria in general.
“We expect that as you receive this money, you will deploy it to enhance your capacity to become employers of labour so that other people will receive their own blessings through you. I am sure and confident that you will deploy the Abia spirit in you to become billionaires from the mustard seed that is given in your hand,” Governor Ikpeazu said.
Governor Ikpeazu also noted that the Education for Employment (E4E) programme initiated by his administration within the first 100 days in office had remained an important pillar on which many Federal government social support initiatives are hinged. Ikpeazu thanked the Federal government for keying Abia State into the YESSO initiative as well as other initiatives of the Federal government including the School Feeding Programme.
He used the opportunity to announce that the essence of the Enyimba City which his administration is establishing is to create job opportunities for the teeming youths adding that about 700,000 youths are expected to gain employment through the project.
National Coordinator of YESSO Programme, Hajara Sani, stated that the programme which was structured by the Federal government in 2017 with assistance from the World Bank to handle insurgency in the North, also provides cash capital and technical support to unemployed youths and vulnerable members of the society. According to her, over 3. 2 million individuals across 15 states of the country are registered in the programme and receive monthly payment of N7,500.
She thanked Governor Ikpeazu for being resolute in issues that concern the poor and vulnerable members of the society.
In his speech earlier, the state coordinator and focal person of YESSO, Mr. Endi Ezengwa, while disclosing that Abia is the first state in the South East to key into the programme, thanked Governor Ikpeazu for his support and expressed the belief that the programme would record a huge success.