Youth empowerment: Bayelsa engages 5,000 youths in six years
Over 5,000 youths have been engaged, under the various empowerment programmes in the last six years of the restoration government in Bayelsa State, the State Commissioner for Youth Development, Chief Collins Cocodia, has said.
According to him, the state government was collaborating with the African Tide Union (ATU), an organization based in Germany to provide 15 months training programme for 100 Bayelsa youths in the area of solar energy, completely funded by the German Government.
He stated this, while presenting the score card of his ministry alongside his Sports Development counterpart at the ongoing inter-ministerial briefings in Yenagoa.
Cocodia, who also oversees the Ministry of Labour, Productivity and Employment, said the state government was collaborating with the German government on a training programme for youths in the development of Smart Houses and other skills.
Under the partnership, he explained that, Bayelsa is expected to make available N102 million, while its foreign counterpart is to provide N278 million, noting that, the training programmes would take place in Bayelsa.
According to him, the German government is also providing 900,000 Euros for the complete funding of the solar energy training programme that will last 15 months.
Chief Cocodia, therefore, stressed the need for the people to sustain the existing peace for the success of the training programmes.
The Commissioner said 500 youths have also been engaged under a tripartite training programme involving the state government, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria, SMEDAN and Industrial Training Fund, ITF as well as National Directorate of Employment, NDE.
He said the state government is partnering the United Nations Institute for Training and Research, while arrangements have also been concluded to train some youths at the Aviation Training College in Kaduna and Kwara states this year.
Also speaking, the Sports Development Commissioner, Hon. Perekiye Buruboyefe, said the state government has commenced both academic and Sports Training activities at the State Sports Academy, Asoama, in Kolokuma/Opokuma local government area.
According to him, the Academy, which was established by law in 2013, is expected to provide effective training for young, talented and potential sports men and women to ensure their successful participation in sports.
Hon. Buruboyefe noted that, the government has since completed the Nembe city stadium and provided the best artificial football pitch in the country at the Samson Siasia Sports Complex, stating that, efforts are on to put in place a playback score board system, flood lights and other facilities in the next couple of weeks.
Earlier in his remarks, the Chairman of the event, Ambassador Lawrence Ekpebu, made reference to former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon and Military Governor of old Rivers State, King Alfred Diete Spiff, who became leaders at youthful ages, charged youths to avail themselves of the training opportunities provided by government to improve themselves to take up responsible position in the future.
Ambassador Ekpebu whose superlative academic performance at the Havard University, United States of America, paved way for more Nigerians and Africans to gain admission into prestigious institution in the sixties, urged the youths to imbibe the virtues of hard work, perseverance, ingenuity and love for their culture.