Delta state Governor Senator Ifeanyi Okowa has charged the Skills Training and Entrepreneurship Programme (STEP) graduates to utilize their training effectively to become better entrepreneurs and employers of labour.
The governor who gave the charge on 18/4/16, during the hand-over of starter parks to 2nd Batch graduates of the 2015 Skills Training and Entrepreneurship programme (STEP) in Asaba explained that they had a responsibility to put into good use the training they have acquired and utilize the starter packs given to empower themselves.
”I must commend you graduates for successfully completing your training and you have all been equipped well enough for you to go into the world and start up your ventures and in no distant time become employers of labour”, he said, adding, ”as a government, it is our joy that youths acquire skills which will make them self-reliant and we are expecting you to grow and become bigger entrepreneurs as you all are now role models for other youths in the state”.
A mild drama however ensued when a certain section of the group of trainees, made up mostly by those trained in electrical works, started a vociferous protest, over what they claimed was the incomplete, inadequate and substandard starter packs provided by the state government for them.
The group, which chanted songs like ‘we no go gree ooo, we no go gree’ complained that the starter pack, which did not contain a generator set, would not be adequate to start up their business, as they would need the generator to complete the package for which they had been trained.
The groups of trainees made up of computer hardware and repairs, Fashion designer & Tailoring and the Electrical Installation and Repairs trainees, equally lamented loudly over the manner they were handle in their training camp, even as one of the beneficiary of the Electrical Installation and Repairs group who spoke on behalf the group said that only ladder and incomplete and substandard tools were bought which he noted would not alleviate their plight, stressing that generator set was one of the major equipment in small-scale business considering the epileptic supply of electricity in the country.
Addressing the group when calm was finally restored, after several minutes of protests, Governor Okowa, who had listened to them patiently in the spirit of a true leader who desires to hear the complaints of his people, pleaded with them, saying: “You have a right to worry and air your view but you don’t have to come by this way of protests. Starter pack is not compulsory after the training, but we feel it is necessary to assist you. We will resolve the issue and get back to you in one week.”
Urging the group not to sell the equipment given to them, Governor Okowa pleaded with them to channel further complains to the office of job creation and assured the graduates that some of their complaints on the starter packs would be addressed as soon as possible, while urging them to be disciplined and civil in their approach to issues.
He then prayed for them and promised that the state Government was fully committed to ensuring the mandate of Prosperity for all Deltans, which he had pledged during his campaigns.
Responding on behalf of the graduates, Mr. Austin Ogbechie thanked Governor Okowa for the programme and the starter packs given and assured that they would put them to good use to become better entrepreneurs in the future.
Shedding more light on the event of the day, both the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Patrick Ukah and the Chief Job Creation Officer, Delta State, Prof. Eric Eboh, commended the magnanimity of Governor Okowa in listening to the complaints of the trainees and acceding to their requests, and while assuring that the Delta State Government was committed to delivering on its job creation agenda and fulfilling the initiatives of the SMART Agenda, enjoined all the trainees and participants of the STEP and YAGEP programmes to be patient as the government was poised to fulfill its pledge and drive the prosperity for all Deltans mandate successfully.