The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has stated that his government has provided employment opportunities to not less than 150,000 persons in the state through various skills development and job creation programmes aimed at stimulating Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the state.
He added that single-digit interest loan facilities were also extended to some of these persons, which became necessary to drive the state’s economy by leveraging the power of small businesses.
Speaking at the Edo State Special Day at the on-going 2019 Abuja International Trade Fair (2019AITF) organised by the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), the governor said his administration has attained 75 per cent (150,000) of his promise to create the 200,000 jobs in his first term in office.
Represented at the trade fair by the Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu, Obaseki said his administration is creating a business environment that is driven by the private sector to build the capacity of youths to become self-reliant.
The governor said, “One of our cardinal pillars is to develop our youths and we have policies and programmes to equip young people with skills, not just for the artisans but also graduates. They say some of our youths are not employable even when they have the certificates.
“So, we created a skills acquisition programme both for artisans and these graduates. We have created an artisan hub, what we call the industrial hub, where you can come and establish your small businesses. The facility has 24-hour power supply to enhance productivity.”
He added, “In Edo State, you must earn a living and the best way to do that is to ensure you are skilled. Skilled labour is what we emphasise in Edo State and we are not only emphasising it, we are creating it.”
Edo State Commissioner for Wealth Creation, Mr. Felix Akhabue said the state government was already making progress in agricultural development while also teaching the youth new techniques to make them successful in the sector.
According to him, “We have the Edo State Skills Development Agency also called EdoJob, which is responsible for training our young ones on skills development. We are also taking our people back to the farms because, in the past, agriculture engaged the majority of the people.
“As you know, the government of Edo State is doing a lot in the area of creation of jobs because if we don’t actively and consciously do things that will create jobs, we would be overwhelmed by youth unemployment.
“Like in other developed countries, it is the private sector that should engage over 70 per cent of the population. Therefore, Nigeria must go that way and Edo State has started. We are looking at the private sector. We are already collaborating with the private sector; Edo state government is creating the enabling environment for businesses to thrive.”