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STEP, YAGEP Geared Towards Reduction Of Youth Unemployment, Poverty

By Kenneth Orusi, The Nigerian Voice, Asaba
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Delta State governor, Ifeanyi Okowa has noted that the Skill Training and Entrepreneurship Programme (STEP) and Youth Agricultural Entrepreneurs Programme (YAGEP), initiatives is yielding positive result as it is geared towards tackling unemployment problem and nurture the growth of Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs).

The governor stated this Wednesday when over 400 beneficiaries of the skill acquisition programmes had an exhibition programmes at Cenotaph, off Okpanam road, Asaba.

According to Okowa, “Globally, it has been established that certain economic sectors and activities hold the highest potentials for job and wealth creation for the economy; these are agriculture, agribusiness, agro-based industries, vocational skills-based micro enterprises, cottage enterprises, small and medium scale enterprises as well as public works such as environmental sanitation, housing and road construction; in fact, interventions in these sectors are generally cost-effective and go a long way to reduce youth unemployment and poverty, while ensuring social inclusion, positive economic growth and sustainable development as has been observed in many countries in South Asia, South East Asia and Latin America”.

He said, through the flagship Skill Training and Entrepreneurship Programme (STEP) and Youth Agricultural Entrepreneurs Programme (YAGEP), the state government has achieved what many thought was unthinkable; after two programme cycles, as 2,324 previously unemployed youths are now small business owners and employers of labour.

According to him, the beneficiaries were trained and established in various enterprises including but not limited to ICT, hair dressing and makeover, catering and confectionary, cosmetology, craft/home care products, decoration and event management, electrical installation and repairs, fashion design and tailoring, shoe making, upholstery, welding and fabrication and auto-mechanic while the agricultural enterprises covered aquaculture, poultry, crop production, agro-processing and piggery.

On his part, Commissioner for Economic Planning in the state who doubles as the Chairman, Steering Committee on Job Creation, Dr Kingsley Emu welcomed all to the event saying that Deltans should use the opportunity the exhibition provides to patronize the beneficiaries.

Also, the Chief Job Creation Officer, Prof. Eric Eboh said the exhibition would provide the beneficiaries of the skill acquisition programmes the opportunity to make vital business contacts, create business relationship that would transform their business enterprises.

“Today’s occasion is fulfillment of the state government’s role of nurturing and supporting the beneficiaries of the Job Creation Scheme branded as STEPrenures and YAGEPrenure”.