Omon-Julius Onabu in Asaba
The World Bank has endorsed the Job Creation Scheme of the Delta State Government as a model for other states to emulate.
Speaking on behalf of the global financial institution in Asaba thursday, Dr Tunde Adekola, a Senior Education Specialist in the global bank, observed that â€œDelta State is the only state that has demonstrated its commitment to skills development in practical terms.â€
The World Bank representative spoke at the Products Exhibition and Business Fair by beneficiaries of the Delta State Governmentâ€™s job creation scheme.
According to Adekola, â€œThe World Bank will continue to support the Delta State Government in the areas of skills and technical development and will work with the Job Creation Office of the state government to strengthen the labour market observatory system in order to make Okowaâ€™s dream of re-creating the middle class a reality.â€
At least 400 out of the 2,324 beneficiaries of the Skills Training and Entrepreneurship Programme (STEP) and the Youth Agricultural Entrepreneurs Programme (YAGEP) of the state participated in the exhibition and business fair.
Declaring the event open, Okowa said that many of the young entrepreneurs â€œbegan their journey less than 15 months ago when they completed their training programmes and were handed their starter-packs. Some of them commenced their businesses for as short as six or nine months ago. Indeed, theirs is a remarkable story of industry, diligence and determination to succeed.
While expressing optimism that the job creation programmes of his administration will ensure diversification of the economy, Okowa credited the success of the scheme to â€œrigorous planning, discipline, focus, painstaking selection process, stringent guidelines, prudent management and commitment to set goals.â€
According to him, â€œwe had to brave the odds and refused to accept the notion that the average youth in Delta was not ready to jettison the rent-seeking mentality and the prevalent culture of entitlement.
â€œWe are inching closer towards our goal of economic diversification through our STEP and YAGEP, as the beneficiaries of these programmes have the capacity to enhance the business competitiveness of the state economy thereby enabling it to withstand external shocks that may arise from vicissitudes in the oil market.â€
Nonetheless, the Sokoto State Governor, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, who was with Okowa during the event, expressed delight at the impressive turnout of the efforts of the young exhibitors who he said were set to add value to the local economy of the state.
Earlier in the day, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State inaugurated the multi-million naira Cable Point Dual Carriage way in Asaba. Speaking at the commissioning ceremony, Wike congratulated Okowa for keeping his promises to the people of Delta State.
â€œMoney or no money, it is good when you make a promise, fulfil your promise,â€ he declared.
â€œDuring his governorship campaign, he (Okowa) promised the Asagba-in-Council when they requested for the construction of the road that he will do it. Today, he has done it. I thank you my dear brother and I will continue to identify with you. Today I commission this Cable Point Dual-carriage way for the people of Asaba and Delta State.