The Federal Government has empowered 335 women and youths of the Niger Delta region with N100.5 million starter packs, as part of its efforts to address the problem of unemployment in the region.
The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Usani Usani, disclosed this at the graduation ceremony of the participants.
Stephen Kilebi, Deputy Director, Press and Public Relations of the Ministry, quoted the minister in a statement, on Saturday in Abuja.
Usani said that each trainee received N300, 000 as starter pack, adding that the training programme covered poultry, fishery, confectionery, tiling and landscaping.
Usani, who was represented by the Deputy Director, Economic Empowerment Department of the Ministry, Philip Ndiomu said that the skills acquisition programme had paid off.
He said: “Women and youths have been economically empowered, bringing the much needed peace, stability, socio- economic and infrastructural development to the region.
“It also complemented President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s efforts towards addressing unemployment and poverty in the country.”
Usani commended the facilitators of the training programme for hosting the participants in the last two weeks and impacting on them.
He said the knowledge acquired would change the socio-economic life of the trainees and contribute to the human capital development agenda of the Federal Government.
He commended the participants for their perseverance and peaceful conduct throughout their stay at the training locations.
The minister urged them to take advantage of the knowledge and showcase the skills acquired to become self-reliant.
He later presented certificates to the trainees, saying that the Federal Government gave them the starter pack as a means of empowerment to enable them take off.
Earlier, the Director Community Development and Education in the Ministry, Lauren Braide, represented by her Assistant Director, Goodluck Oyinvwe, advised the participants to put the knowledge acquired into use, to become employers of labour.
One of the trainning facilitators and representative of Reg. Morrison Ltd, Miss Esther Njoku commended the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs for giving them a rare opportunity to empower and contribute to the success story of the participants.
One of the beneficiaries, Mary Etaba commended the Federal Government for the training and empowerment programme.
Etaba said both the money and the knowledge acquired added value to their lives.
She also expressed her gratitude to the staff and management of the ministry for the laudable initiative.