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STEP, YAGEP, GEEP conclude 2022 programme cycle ~ Truth Reporters


-Beneficiaries receive starter packs

By Gertrude Onyekachukwu-Uteh

The Delta State Job and Wealth Creation Bureau has concluded the 2022 cycle of its programmes with a graduation ceremony and the handing out of starter packs to the graduands.

The graduation ceremony jointly organized with the Ministry of Science and Technology took place yesterday in Asaba and was attended by past and graduating beneficiaries of the Skills Training and Entrepreneurship Programme (STEP), the Youth Agricultural Entrepreneurs Programme (YAGEP), the Graduates Employment Enhancement Programme (GEEP) and the Information and Communication Technology - Youth Empowerment Programme (ICT-YEP.)

Addressing the graduands and past STEP/YAGEP/GEEP beneficiaries adopted into the Job Creation Hall of Fame, the Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, said job creation is one of his administration’s greatest legacies to the incoming administration in the state.

He said that the administration devoted reasonable resources in its various schemes for the youths to acquire skills that would make them self-employed and able to contribute to the nation's economic growth.

According to him, “The more youths we take off the street, the more peace we are likely to have in the state, and I have a lot of excitement today because this is an event where we are graduating many of our youths in different entrepreneurship programmes.

"This has been very dear to my heart in the last eight years and I thank God that a few days to my exit, I am participating in the graduation of the last set of entrepreneurs in my tenure. I know that by the special grace of God, the incoming administration will continue and improve on the programme.

"From the beginning, we talked about the SMART Agenda and Prosperity for all Deltans. We have laid a foundation for that and I believe that the foundation will be built upon.

"In our second tenure, we went into the Stronger Delta agenda, and the incoming administration has promised us more with its MORE agenda. This means that Deltans are going to have more of what we have here today. 

“In years to come, I believe that we are going to have great businesses springing up among the people who are here and so many thousands who have graduated from the programmes in the last eight years," he remarked.

 Earlier in his speech tagged, “Taking Stock of the Job and Wealth Creation and Youth Empowerment Legacies of Governor Okowa,” the Chief Job and Wealth Creation Officer, Prof Eric Eboh, stated that the Okowa-led administration has produced over 15,000 brand new youth entrepreneurs from its various entrepreneurship programmes since 2015.

He explained that the governor’s investments in job creation entrepreneurship development, skills training, youth development, microcredit and enterprise grants to existing small businesses and women-owned enterprises have covered a total number of 75, 332 beneficiaries from 2015 till date.

He also said business grants to rural and urban artisans and the social safety cash transfers, livelihood grants, debt reliefs and economic stimulus packages implemented under Delta CARES programmed total numbers of 33,500 artisans/tricycle operators and 42,001 vulnerable households, unemployed youths, small holder farmers and micro-business owners respectively.

He disclosed that the state government’s investments through the Delta State Job and Wealth Creation Bureau have resulted in 12 Legacy Pillars with the total number of 9, 154 direct beneficiaries from STEP, YAGEP, GEEP and PPSP as one of the pillars.

The highlights of the event included the unveiling of two legacy publications of the Bureau, “The STEP, YAGEP & GEEP Hall of Fame,” “The Job Creation Roadmap and Implementation Standards and the handing out of starter packs to the beneficiaries.

Among the dignitaries present were the wife of the Governor, Dame Edith Okowa; the Deputy Governor, Deacon Kingsley Otuaro; the Governor-elect, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori; Deputy Governor-elect, Sir Monday Onyeme; Secretary to the State Government, Chief Patrick Ukah; members of the executive council; other top government functionaries and traditional rulers.

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