Awka – No fewer than 500 Anambra youths have benefitted from the week-long skill acquisition programme of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) held in Awka.
Speaking at the closing ceremony, Mrs Gloria Akobundu, the National Coordinator and Chief Executive Officer of NEPAD, said that the agency would not relent in implementing its lofty developmental programmes for the nation’s youths.
She said, “NEPAD has good intentions for the people of the country and will not relent in the fight to achieve the goals of the agency.’’
Akobundu, who was represented by Mr Emmanuel Abang, the Director, Programmes Development and Implementation, NEPAD Nigeria under the Presidency, advised the beneficiaries to deploy the skills they acquired during the training into effective use.
She said that the training was organised to make them self-reliant.
According to her, “the training will make them to be economically independent.”
She said that NEPAD is an economic development programme of the African Union, which was adopted at the 37th session of the Assembly of the Heads of States and Governments on July 2001 in Lusaka Zambia.
She also said that the agency was created under the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation for poverty reduction and economic empowerment through the training and empowerment of youths and women.
Akobundu said that participants were trained in cake and pastry making, bead and hat making and barbing.
She said that at the end of the training, NEPAD would also give them starter packs to take off.
She said that apart from the starter packs, NEPAD always encouraged the people to go into cooperatives in order to have easy access to loans from the Bank of Industry and other financial institutions.
Miss Chidinma Akpata, Chief Officer of Adimma Concept and a resource person at the programme, described the objectives of NEPAD as laudable.
Akpata advised other youths, who had yet to benefit from the training to endeavoure to be part of it any time they had the opportunity.
She said that the era of brandishing one’s certificate had gone since white-collar jobs had become difficult to secure.
Another resource person, Miss Perpetual Akutuekwe, who took the participants on confectionery making, expressed delight over the large number of persons that showed interest in learning how to make buns, chin-chin, custard, plantain chips and cake, among others.
Akutuekwe said that it was easy to learn a skill if one had the interest.
She said that those who took the training seriously would be economically comfortable in the near future.
Mrs Chidinma James, one of the facilitators, said that she was a trainee in March 2018 at Owerri, adding that she was better for it.
James advised the participants not to take the training for granted because it was offered at no cost but concentrate on how to apply the knowledge garnered.
17-year-old Favour Nnaemeka, who trained in hat and bead making, said that he was encouraged to join the training by his grand mother in order keep himself busy, having completed his secondary education.
Nnaemeka said that he would remain grateful to his grandma, adding that he would put all that he learnt into practice.
Another participant, Mrs Ngozi Omeife, a widow, said that she learnt a lot and would endeavor to raise more capital to set up a business in order to fend for herself and family. (NAN)