By Ifeanyi Nwoko
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State has called on the international community to engage in the sponsorship of training programmes for Nigerian youths in the area of skill acquisition.
Governor Okowa made this call on Thursday while receiving the Ambassador of the United States of America to Nigeria, Mr Stuart Symington who paid him a courtesy visit in Asaba.
The Governor while welcoming the ambassador, noted that it is very important to trains youths, stressing that when trained, youths will be off the streets to engage in an economic activity, thereby making the country more developed.
“It is important that the international community engage in the training of our youths in skill acquisition as it will go a long way to equip them to contribute to the socio-economic development of the country.
“We thank you Mr Ambassador for contributing your quota in the training of some of our youths in agro-business; the state will partner with you to train more youths in this business and we are looking for more partners,” he said.
Gov. Okowa used the opportunity to express his gratitude to the World Bank for contributing to the training of the youths through the SEEFOR, but stated that a lot more needed to be done in youths’ training.
“So far, as a state government, we have carried out three cycles of our job creation training; we monitor and mentor our trainees and we are glad to say that we have over 62 per cent success rates in our wealth creation programmes,” the governor disclosed.
He commended the Ambassador for visiting the state to find out the progress made in the training of beneficiaries of Presidential Amnesty programmes, expressing delight that the facilities used for the training would be useful in training more youths in the wealth creation programmes by his administration.
Responding, the Ambasador Mr Symington said they were in the state to visit the agricultural training programme going on through the Presidential Amnesty programme in partnership with some American investors.
While commending Governor Okowa’s administration for providing a conducive environment for the training to take place, he observed that agricultural business would boost the economy of Nigeria.
He noted that for Nigeria to remain the economic hub of Africa, youth development through skill acquisition must be fully harnessed, so the youths can change their lives and make the country great.