The Federal Government has called on youths to help ensure food security is achieved in the country by deploying their energy towards productive engagement in the country.
The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani, who made the call in Ibadan at the completion of training programmes organised by the Ministry on commercial snail farming, entrepreneurship and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for women and youths from the Niger Delta region, said that Federal Government would leave no stone unturned to ensure that youths in the country are positively engaged and prepared for the task of building a greater Nigeria.
According to the Director of Press in the Ministry, Mr Marshall Gundu, the Minister, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Alo Williams Nwankwo, said that participants should use the knowledge and skills gathered from the training to contribute to food security and the development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), in the country.
The statement said about 64 women and youths from the Niger Delta region were trained in various skills at The Polytechnic Ibadan, Oyo State.
He said: “This is one of the initiatives of President Muhammadu Buhari administration to diversify the economy, increase food security and generate employment for women and youths in the Niger Delta region. The training and empowerment package was put together to , among other benefits; enable the trainees to be self-employed, engage others, manage businesses for effective enterprise development and be able to generate income for their families.”
In his remarks, the Rector of The Polytechnic, Ibadan, Prof. Olatunde Fawole, commended the Federal Government for the right step taken to train and empower Niger Delta youths and women, saying his institution would continue to welcome such a training programme.
He urged the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs to continue to enrol more youths in training of this nature, which he said was capable of arresting cases of youth restiveness in the Niger Delta region.
The training consultant, Dr. Benjamin Onoriode Irikefe, said: “The graduands have all been well trained to world class standards in the vocations they were schooled in- Information and Communication Technology and Commercial Snail Farming.”
The participants expressed gratitude to the Federal Government for the training and empowerment programme, saying they were looking forward to the extension of same to other youths and women in the region.
Highlights of the event included the presentation of training certificates, payment of a start-up capital of N300,000 and one laptop each, for the trainees, while those who did not collect laptop received the sum of N400,000, and other relevant materials that would aid them in setting up their businesses.