By Miriam Humbe
The Minister, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs (MNDA), Sen. Godswill Akpabio, CON, has empowered Women and Youths not only for their individual benefits but for the socio-economic development of Nigeria.
The Minister who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, MNDA, Mr. Olusade Adesola stated this at the closing ceremony of the training and empowerment programme for women and youths from Niger Delta Region held in Abuja, on Friday, March 20, 2020.
He said that the empowerment initiative is in line with the Governments drive to diversify the economy from substantial dependence on crude oil.
The scheme according to him, would promote national food security, invest in people and equally generate employment for the good people of Niger Delta Region, adding that the training package was meant to provide the participants with skills in the assigned areas and also equip them with knowledge in entrepreneurship to enable them manage their business and finances in order to transform their business into successful enterprises.
Sen. Akpabio noted that the Empowerment and Community Development Programmes being organized by the Ministry are continuous to expand reach in the effort to ensure that no one is left behind. He, however, informed the beneficiaries that the officials of the Ministry will periodically monitor their progress to provide guidance, mentorship and ensure compliance in line with the objectives of the programme.
Speaking further, the Minister explained that the Ministry was actively involved in other forms of empowerment programmes aimed at encouraging the growth and development of micro and small businesses such as provision of tricycles and motorcycles to entrepreneurs and farmers to ease transportation of goods and services.
Other areas of empowerment according to him include provision of sewing machines and other accessories for fashion designers, equipping of ICT centres, hospitals, schools amongst others.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Director Economic Empowerment, Mr. Ibrahim Akanya, stated that apart from farming, the Ministry went further to make sure that the trainees acquire knowledge in ICT and Entrepreneurship to enhance their businesses.
He referred to the beneficiaries as privileged group who were visited in the course of their training by the Hon. Minister of State, Sen. Omotayo Alasoadura and other management staff who gave them inspirational talks apart from the skills being acquired from the consultants.
Akanya also stated that a starter capital would be given to them and then enjoined participants to hold firmly to the knowledge and advice gotten during the training in order to be successful.
Speaking on behalf of the Beneficiaries, Mr. Ofuyaekpone Charles Tuoyo, the Class Representative, appreciated the MNDA for the programme and assured that the Ministry’s efforts would not be in vain.
Tuoyo delightfully expressed that they have been trained from the scratch on the hatching process in fish farming among other things and they have realized that farming is a viable business, noting that they have deliberated among themselves on how to start the business successfully and assured the Ministry that the empowerment package given to them would be well utilized to enhance their income and livelihood.