Delta State Government on Monday presented starter packs to 593 youths trained on its Information and Communications Technology – Youth Empowerment Programme, ICT-YEP with a call on the beneficiaries to make good use of the opportunity to launch themselves into the technology world.
Speaking during the closing ceremony of the first phase of the (ICT-YEP) for Delta North graduands at Government House, Asaba, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa urged the beneficiaries to make good use of the opportunity provided to become self-sufficient in business and entrepreneurship.
Represented by the State Commissioner for Youth Development, Ifeanyi Egwunyenga, the governor said there were lots of opportunities in the ICT world and urged the beneficiaries to maximise the potentials in the technology world.
According to the governor, “I’m happy to be among our youths who have successfully undergone ICT-based training to equip themselves with relevant knowledge in information and communication technology capable of providing employment, not only for themselves, but also for others.
“I congratulate you for successfully going through the programme, in spite of the hitches. ICT has become the fulcrum around which economies of local, international agencies, and even government at all levels, revolve.
“It has permeated lives and livelihoods, opening vast opportunities for newer, faster, better and more reliable ways for people to interact, do business, and seek help in various ways, including developing ideas on how set goals can be achieved.
He said well meaning youths across the globe were deploying ICT to prepare for, and access economic opportunities, career counseling, job matching, entrepreneurship and agriculture.
“Economic opportunities are a key pull factor for youth migration as they do so due to the lack of opportunities for employments and personal growth in their homes, communities and countries.
“We are determined to stem this tide, especially amongst our youths, by expanding the windows of opportunities for self-development in vocational training and equipping it’s graduates to start up their own agriculture and girl-child empowerment.
“ICT will help you build and maintain social networks capable of providing access to knowledge and know how on virtually, all meaningful businesses and creativity capable of making and expanding the frontiers of knowledge by creating noble ways of using the Internet in a much better, secure and faster ways.
“While you use the knowledge you have acquired for meaningful engagements with wider society, you should also challenge yourself on how best you can improve on the ICT, as areas of widening the usage are still open,” Okowa said.
The governor advised the beneficiaries to maximise the positive aspect of the Internet, and warned against using it for mischief or outright criminal purposes, as the law is always there to deal with those who abuse ICT.
“Do not adopt ‘get rich quick’ mentality, be steadfast in the pursuit of those ideals which will earn you honour and fame both at the national and international levels.
“Go out there to convince the Delta State government and the people that the resources put into the training is worth the sacrifice. Once again, I congratulate you, and may God grant you wisdom to deploy the knowledge gathered to both your advantage, that of your families, and the state in general,” Okowa stated.
Welcoming guests to the event, Commissioner for Science and Technology, Mrs. Jennifer Adasen-Efeviroro said the programme was designed to build a community of youths with the right skills to start their own businesses, become self-sufficient entrepreneurs to contribute to the development of Delta in particular, and the nation in general.
“You will recall that in April 2021, our dear governor graciously approved the commencement of the ICT-YEP as part of his strategic plan to make technology innovation the building block of a future stronger Delta. Five hundred and ninety-three youths from across the three senatorial districts of the state were selected through a transparent process to participate in a four months intensive programme in Basic and Advanced Front end/ Back end web developments, Advanced Networking, Home Security, design installation programme with close circuit television (CCTV), Advanced solar inverter installation and repairs, among others.” she said.
Also speaking, Commissioner for Information, Charles Aniagwu, congratulated the beneficiaries for being part of those selected, adding that the world awaited their exploits as tech entrepreneurs.
“We identify with your zeal to become entrepreneurs; and as you collect your starter packs today, I urge you to bring that same zeal in managing what you are given today to grow your business. What you are given today are starter packs which means government is helping you to start off, and how you are going to sustain the business depends on your positive mindset,” he added.
Chief Job Creation Officer, Professor Eric Eboh encouraged the beneficiaries to see the empowerment as an opportunity to launch out to the Information and Communications Technology world which he described as the new ‘black gold’.
He said a total 6,074 youths have been trained and empowered through the STEP and YAGEP programmes since 2015, adding that the state government was proud of the testimonies from the beneficiaries.
Two beneficiaries – Ezeagbor Charles, and Chukwudebe Leslie, who responded on behalf of others, thanked Governor Okowa for the training and provision of starter packs.
They commended the state government for making their dreams a reality and pledged to leverage on the opportunity provided by the state government to become economically independent.