The Enugu State Commissioner for youths and sports, Mr. Joseph Udedi, Wednesday, hailed Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for his keen interest and commitment to youth empowerment and development.
The commissioner spoke during a town hall meeting organized for youths in the state by the state government to interact and acquaint them with the basic principles and programmes that would assist them realize their potentials as future leaders.
He stated that Ugwuanyi’s commitment to empowerment programmes aimed at alleviating the suffering of the people and aiding the youth and women to be self-sufficient had remained one of the focal points of his administration.
Udedi said that the Federal Government’s verdict that other states should borrow a leaf from Gov. Ugwuanyi in the implementation and actualization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) skill acquisition programme for the youth, is a clear proof that Enugu State was playing a leading role in youth empowerment and human development.
According to him, “one of the key elements of the agend of this administration is empowerment of our teeming youths. To this end, the state government has been resolutely implementing various programmes/policies via the ministry aimed at equipping the youth with skills to optimize their capacity to drive state/national development.
“Through the magnanimity of His Excellency, the Governor, the state has kept youths busy and meaningfully engaged through participation in different national and state youths and sports programmes such as the National Youth Games, NFF under-13 and under-15 football championships, National Mobil Track/Field Championships.
“Others are Zenith Bank Basketball Championship and Nestle Milo Basketball Championship as well as the Central Bank of Nigeria Table Tennis Classics, 2017/2018 Gburugburu All Public Secondary Schools Football Championship, among others.
“In addition, recently, 750 youths were trained for 12 months on various skills by the Enugu State Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) office.
“Within the same period, the ministry trained and retrained thousands of youths in various skills/trade in agriculture, soap making, cosmetology, digital technology, among others, by the office of the Special Assistant to the Governor on Youth Affairs.”
Governor Ugwuanyi, who was represented at the meeting by his Special Adviser on Special Duties, Mr. Uwakwe Azikiwe, reassured the youth of his administration’s commitment to their wellbeing, stressing that the government will not relent on its youth development and empowerment programmes, which have been receiving accolades from all quarters.
“Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State takes issues of the youth seriously. He knows that youths are the greater majority of the society. That is why he mapped out various programmes that will enhance the welfare of this category of the people.
“The Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) was established to assist youths, especially the unemployed. The scheme provides the money for entrepreneurs in the state to develop their potentials. We are also partnering the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) on free skill acquisition training of our youths. This platform is organized to brainstorm and interact with the youth on how to assist them excel in life”, Hon. Azikiwe said.
Also speaking, the member representing Ezeagu in the State House of Assembly, Hon. Chima Obieze briefed the youth on the actions being taken by the state government to empower them in agriculture.
Hon. Obieze disclosed that “seven hundred youths have been trained in agriculture and each of them got a reasonable amount of money to start off their own agricultural farms”.
He therefore thanked the governor for providing the enabling environment for the youth to thrive in the state and urged them to avail themselves of the veritable opportunities provided by the state government to develop and grow their potentials in the overall interest of the state and society at large.
The interactive meeting had hundreds of youths in attendance and participants drawn from all the 17 council areas in the state, as well as resource persons including the state’s commissioner for agriculture, Hon. Emeka Ede, who urged the youth to develop interest in various agro-activities that could easily make them employers of labour.