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By NBF News
Listen to article A major partnership project that would facilitate the training and empowerment of women and youths in Imo State has taken off.

Under the partnership, the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) is  to offer technical support to strengthen the women and youth empowerment programmes being organised by the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chief Emeka Ihedioha.

The Imo  State Coordinator of NDE, Mr. Jeja Isichei, who gave the assurance while unveiling the scheme for trainees of Owerri zone, said that attendance registers, identity cards, workshop codes and uniforms had already been procured by the directorate for onward distribution to the  beneficiaries for proper training.

Isichei said that the directorate, which came on board in 1986, was poised to develop work and wealth-creation programmes, attitudinal change and economic self reliance, and therefore called for seriousness, hard work, humility and dedication to duty from the trainees.

Ihedioha, who was  represented by his Special Adviser (Special Duties), Chief Ernest Ibejiako, disclosed that 20,000 trainees would benefit from the project  and would be issued with relevant tools and sundry incentives at the end, adding that the government would take up the responsibility of  opening bank accounts for them where all money given to them would be deposited for effective and transparent management.

'Part of my mission is to de-saturate the already-saturated labour market in Imo and in doing this, we will touch all corners of the state,' he assured.

The pilot programme, he said, had been packaged to accommodate members of such organisations as the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) NUT, NUJ, NULGE, the Catholic and Anglican churches as well as physically challenged persons.

Also, the Acting Vice-Chancellor of Imo State University (IMSU), Prof.  Ukachukwu Awuzie, who was represented by the institution's public relations officer, Mr. Njoku Obi, and the Deputy Chairman of the state Council of Traditional Rulers (Owerri zone), HRH, Eze Chidume Okoro, described the skills acquisition programme as a a project that would create jobs for the teeming  unemployed women and youths in the state.

They therefore enjoined the beneficiaries to apply hard work, patience, perseverance, dedication and commitment to their vocations to enable them succeed. 'With this programme you will be able to assert yourselves in society and also become employers of labour in your respective areas of specialisation,' the beneficiaries  were told.