A total of four thousand youths drawn from Akuku Toru, Asari Toru, and Degema Local Government Areas of Rivers State have successfully completed a 5-Week Intensive Skills Acquisition Training and Empowerment Programme initiated and funded by the Rivers State Deputy Governor Dr. Mrs. Ipalibo Harry Banigo.

Speaking during the closing formalities at the Degema Stadium the Deputy Governor who expressed delight with the enthusiasm displayed by the beneficiaries disclosed that this is just the beginning of many more empowerment programmes to come to the area and many other Local Government Areas across the State.

“I am very pleased with you before now it used to be said that you don’t want to work now you have shown the world and the world is watching that, that narrative is not true”. She stressed.

According to Dr. Banigo the State Chief Executive, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has a passion to give the Rivers People the best at every given opportunity, noting that he is desirous to see that our youths are enabled and empowered to take over the mantle of leadership at the time that is opportune for them.

“I know that in the various areas he has done infrastructural development like the building of roads, bridges, jetties, land reclamation, shore protection and the harmonization of taxes, these are all measures to provide an enabling environment and so I know that with what the world is seeing today there will be a drive for more investors to come into Rivers State”. Dr. Banigo further stressed.

She expressed gratitude to Rev Stephen Akinola and the Chairmen of the three Local Government Areas for collaborating with her to put together this programme and for ensuring that we have a very good spiritual backing to it.

“We have had that you had over a thousand souls that were converted to Christ. I want to tell you that the greatest thing in life is to receive salvation and I thank God that the skills Acquisition Programme has been wrapped around the spiritual growth of our people and I want to specially thank Rev. Akinola for decreeing and declaring blessings upon the participants, the land and the people, so that this seed that has been sown will surely germinate”. She said.

The Deputy Governor who informed the beneficiaries that the skills they have acquired would give them a source of livelihood said the Central Bank, the Bank of Industry and RIMA have indicated interest to support them.

In his remarks the Chairman of the occasion Dr. Emi Membere-Otaji said there is unemployment in the land and a lot of poverty in the county, noting that we have to change and become entrepreneurs to survive.

He said the world and the world economy has changed, stressing that soon the crude oil we have been worshipping will not be needed again.

He commended the Deputy for her bold initiative to organize the skills acquisition programme, noting that they could turn out to become Billionaires in the nearest future if they take advantage of the opportunity.

Also speaking the General Overseer of Redemption Ministries Rev. Stephen Akinola informed the beneficiaries that the organizers of the programme humbly offered themselves to re-write the destinies which the wicked enemy Satan had written in a crocked way, noting that Jesus Christ has stepped in to change their story today.

In his close-up report the Programme Coordinator, Pastor Christopher Briggs said participants were exposed to four   weeks of hands on practical training and two extra days of lectures from the Central Bank of Nigeria, RIMA Growth Pathway Micro-Finance Bank, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Department of Co-operatives, the School of Professional Mentorship and Capacity building.

He said the focus was on development of entrepreneurial skills, information of modalities for accessing loans for business development, setting up and operating co-operative societies among others.


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