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Diri urges youths to embrace skills acquisition

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Gov. Douye Diri of Bayelsa has reiterated the call for youths in the state to embrace skill acquisition programmes in order to be self-reliance.

Diri made the call during the graduation ceremony of 814 students of the Skills Acquisition and Empowerment Programme in Yenagoa on Monday.

It was reported that the governor also inaugurated the training and empowerment of 317 students under the Sustainable Development Goals scheme.

According to him, the youths should learn a skill and not depend on handouts from politicians.

He said that his administration would continue to support similar empowerment programmes to improve the economic fortunes of youths and the state at large.

He noted that true progress came from hard work and encouraged the youths to shun criminality.

The governor advised the participants to take advantage of government’s plans and programmes to give their lives a meaning.

He expressed delight over disposition of the graduates for determination to put their skills to use and promised to sustain the programme.

He said that with the series of empowerment programmes, the state would soon start producing most of what the people buy outside.

Diri commended Mrs Charity Godwin, Director, Centre for Women Development, Southern Ijaw Constituency 4, for changing the narrative, from being an area known for criminality to that of entrepreneurship.

“Indeed, today is one of my happiest days as I stand before women and boys graduating with skills.

“It is important that you have skills and you will add value to yourselves and others around.

“This training will continue, and you will have to train others too. What Charity Godwin has done is flying with my vision,” he said.

The governor called on the youths in Southern Ijaw, particularly Constituency-4, to shun all forms of criminality.

“Those who encourage you to do bad things do not love you. Those who love you are the ones giving you skills today and our government will continue to give you such opportunities.

“Do not go into ungodly business. Do things that will add value to yourself and your community.

“I am happy with your spirit. I can see that you did not even wait for your starter packs before you began putting your skills to use.

“We will be monitoring you to see how you are developing with a view to supporting you,” Diri said.

In his welcome address, Mr Federal Otokito, Commissioner for Trade, Industry and Investment described the event as remarkable in the life of the administration.

Otokito said that it was in line with the governor’s mandate to end political praise singing and raise entrepreneurs.

He thanked Diri for making the programme a reality, stressing that it would go a long way to bring prosperity to indigenes of the state.

Also, Godwin, who delivered the programme overview thanked the governor for giving her the opportunity to serve.

She said that she had been using her office to further the governor’s desire to ensure that youths and women became self-reliance.

She said that the training lasted about one year, and the students have learned various skills such as fashion design, catering, shoe making and soap making.

Representatives of the beneficiaries, in their remarks, appreciated the governor and Godwin for the training as well as assured that the skills acquired would be put to profitable use.

Shedrack Frank

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