In a bid to encourage budding entrepreneurs amongst youths of the state, the Deputy Governor of Rivers, Ipalibo Harry-Banigo and Degema chairman Michael Williams, have endorsed wares, produced by youths of Kalabari extraction, as part of a concerted effort, aimed at stemming the tide of unemployment and poverty amongst the teeming youth population.
This development followed the ‘Product Exhibition and Auctioning’ ceremony by participants of the second phase of the Skills Acquisition Programme, sponsored by the state Deputy Governor, in conjunction with the Redemption Ministries, for youths of the three Kalabari LGAs of Degema, Asari-Toru and Akuku-Toru, in DELGA over two years ago.
Harry-Banigo commended the participants for their diligence, pledging to continue to support them, in order to ensure that youths of the area were gainfully employed.
While noting that small and medium scale enterprises drive the economy of the world, Dr. Harry-Banigo commended Governor Nyesom Wike for creating the enabling environment for businesses to thrive in the state.
She added that owing to the governor’s prudent management of resources, as seen in the construction of modern roads and bridges, hospitals, schools, tourists centres, amongst others, Rivers State has become an investment hub for investors, maintaining that; “Rivers State is the safest place to live and do business in Nigeria.
“I am very proud of what you have done and because of this, I will continue to support you,” she stated.
The Deputy Governor however, took a swipe at the APC-led Federal Government for plunging the nation into its present state of ‘poverty capital of the world,’ despite their initial bogus promises of lifting millions of Nigerians out of poverty, making the Dollar equal to the Naira, amongst others.
“The APC-led Federal Government told us that they would take many people out of poverty, but today, Nigeria is the poverty capital of the world.
“They told us that One Naira would be equivalent to One Dollar, but today, because the economy is so battered, all our professionals are emigrating in droves.
“Everywhere people are crying for security; from the North East, North Central, North West, everywhere is in turmoil,” she lamented.
On his part, Michael Williams, thanked the Deputy Governor for her compassionate disposition towards the youths of the area, which he said, informed her decision to initiate the skills acquisition programme.
He disclosed that the participants were not only into shoemaking, but were equally building quality fibre glass boats, amongst other items, assuring that his administration would continue to partner and support initiatives, aimed at encouraging the youths to be self-reliant.
Earlier, the Coordinator of the Skills Acquisition Programme, Pastor Joseph Pettigrew, had commended the deputy governor and the Degema Local Government Council for the initiation, support and enabling environment throughout the first and second phases of the training programme.
He added that the trainees have been imparted with the requisite skills to be independent and also employers of labour, appealing for more support to enable them start up businesses of their own.
Also speaking on behalf of the participants, Mr. Nimi Ambassador, while expressing gratitude to the Deputy Governor for initiating the programme, as well as the Degema LGA for the humongous support given throughout the exercise, noted that the trainees have been empowered to be self-sufficient.
“Your Excellency, you have not only given us fish to eat, but you have taught us how to catch the fish and take care of ourselves and dependents,” he admitted.
He also appealed for financial and material support to enable them put their skills to good use, as according to him; “practice makes perfect.”
The Wares Exhibition featured purchasing of the ‘Made in Degema’ products by the Deputy Governor, the Council Chairman, the Vice Chairman, HLGA, among others.
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