Diri urges youths to be self-reliant, presents starter packs to 814 graduates

Yenagoa—Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State has reiterated his call on youths of the state to embrace skill acquisition programmes as a way to be self-reliant rather than depending on handouts from politicians.

The Governor made this known in Yenagoa on Monday, during the graduation ceremony of 814 students of the Diri Skills Acquisition And Empowerment Programme.

Diri who noted that the programme is in line with the prosperity agenda of his administration also flagged off the training and empowerment of 317 others under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) scheme.

A statement by Daniel Alabrah, Chief Press Secretary to Diri quoted him as restating the desire of his administration to continually support similar empowerment programmes to improve the economic fortunes of youths and the state at large.

His words: “Indeed, today is one of my happiest days as I stand before women and boys graduating with skills. It is important that today you have skills and you will add value to yourselves and others around. This training will continue, and you will have to train others too. What Charity (Godwin) has done is flying with my vision.

“I like to call on the youths in Southern Ijaw, particularly Constituency 4, to shun all forms of criminality. Those who encourage you to do bad things do not love you. Those who love you are the ones giving you skills today and our government will continue to give you such opportunities.

“Do not go into ungodly business. Do things that will add value to yourself and your community.

“I am happy with your spirit. I can see that you did not even wait for your starter packs before you began putting your skills to use. We will be monitoring you to see how you are developing with a view to supporting you.”

The Commissioner for Trade, Industry and Investment, Mr Federal Otokito, in his address, described the event as remarkable it is in line with the governor’s charge to end political praise-singing and raise entrepreneurs.

Otokito thanked Diri for making the programme a reality.

Delivering a programme overview, Director, Centre for Women Development, Southern Ijaw Constituency 4,

Mrs Charity Godwin, Director, Centre for Women Development, Southern Ijaw Constituency 4, in her remarks also appreciated the governor for allowing her to serve.

She pledged to use her office to further his administration’s desire to ensure that youths and women become self-reliant.

She explained that the training lasted about one year and the students have learned various skills such as fashion design, catering, shoemaking, soap making among others.

Representatives of the beneficiaries, in their remarks, appreciated the governor and Mrs. Godwin for the training, assuring that the skills acquired will be put to profitable use.

Speaking during the flag-off of the SDGs skills training at the Banquet Hall in Government House, Yenagoa, Diri opined that without developing manpower, the infrastructure being developed would not make much impact on the populace as there would be no one to manage them.

The Governor explained that the programme involved tripartite funding but that due to the importance of capacity building, his administration took the initiative to commence the training without a financial contribution from the other two partners.

He urged the beneficiaries to see themselves as ambassadors of the prosperity government and effect change in their communities through the training.

Senior Special Assistant and Focal Person on Sustainable Development Goals, Dr. Ebiwari Wariowei, in his remarks stated that the training is in line with the government’s emphasis on Bayelsans to work to earn a living.

Wariowei revealed that the programme focuses on number one and eight of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which are to “end poverty in all its forms everywhere and to promote sustained inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all” respectively.

He thanked the governor for approving funds for the office to enable it to commence the training.

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