Obinna Odogwu, Abakaliki
The National Directorate of Employment (NDE) in Ebonyi State has given succour to eleven graduates in the state by providing them with different working tools after they underwent training on various skill areas.
Beneficiaries of 2018 batch of the Environment Beautification Training Scheme of the NDE were given the starter kits as well as cash to enable them establish their own businesses .
The equipment distributed to the beneficiaries were in three categories: hard landscaping, soft landscaping, and Plaster of Paris (POP).
Also, 50 unemployed youths were given orientation as a preparatory package for the commencement of training in various modern agricultural and agro-allied skills under the Sustainable Agricultural Development Training Scheme (SADTS) of the directorate.
The SADTS training areas, according to the State Coordinator of NDE, Mr. Marcel Igboanude, are poultry, piggery, fish farming, apiculture, preservation and packaging among others.
Igboanude explained that the training scheme which has duration of three months involves one month tutorial training and two months practical attachment in organised farms in the state for business mentoring.
Director-General of NDE, Dr. Nasiru Argungu, represented by the Assistant Director, Special Public Works, Mr Augustine Akahalu, expressed his happiness in a keynote at the occasion.
He revealed that 416 youths out of the 1,850 who were trained under the 2018 EBTS of the directorate were selected and given relevant tools and loans to enable them start up their own ventures:
“The NDE has been strongly supportive and has consistently invested in Nigerian youths. At this instance, it has used the EBTS initiative to offer participants, employability skills that transfers hard and soft landscaping skills to them on-the-job while serving on attachment.
“The employment outlook of graduates of this laudable programme is excellent. They are equipped with in-demand skills sought for in the construction industry, hence are open to explore diverse opportunities to provide services to projects in the sector.
“Some of which includes, environmental renewal, sanitation, protection and beautification, ornamentation to finishing of structures, grassing and ornamental tree planting, habitat conservation amongst others.
“Success as a self-employed business owner comes at a price. You must imbibe the culture of discipline, long hours at work, perseverance, continuous learning and improvement, good customer relations, networking with colleagues, your trainers and mentors.”
He urged the beneficiaries to always remember in their sub-conscious that the loans must be repaid as in accordance with the loan repayment schedule given to them; stressing that there is no free lunch anywhere.
Ebonyi state’s Commissioner for Human Capital Development and Monitoring, Dr Stephen Odo, who also spoke at the event, commended the NDE saying that the directorate is doing so much to solve the problem of unemployment in the country and should be supported.
He said that the State Government under Governor Dave Umahi is working hard to reduce unemployment rate in the state by empowering the youths and putting up infrastructures that would enable economic growth and development.
“Despite what the NDE is doing, the state Government is also complementing the effort. Go through the training, by God’s grace, we on our part are making provisions for little loan programme that can enable you start”, he charged the trainees. Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Monday Nwigbo, who was trained on how to make POP, commended the NDE for their efforts and sacrifices to make the training worthwhile.