Abia gov’s wife lauds SPDC empowerment programme




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UMUAHIA – Abia Governor’s wife, Mrs Odochi Orji, has commended Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) for keying into President Goodluck Jonathan’s Transformation Agenda on poverty alleviation.
Orji gave the commendation on in Umuahia during the graduation and closing ceremony of the 2014 Shell Livewire Nigeria Programme Awards for Persons Living with Disabilities in the state.
She restated her husband’s commitment to the state ’s youth empowerment initiative in line with the Federal Government’s agenda on job creation and poverty alleviation.
The governor’s wife expressed the hope that the programme would uplift the beneficiaries as well as have a multiplier effect on the economy of the state.
She implored the beneficiaries to ensure proper utilization of the skills and money acquired during the one-month training in skills.
In a brief remark, Chief Don Ubani,  the Commissioner for Petroleum and Solid Minerals’ Development, thanked the company for partnering with the state government, to give hope and means of livelihood to the physically challenged in the state.
Earlier, the SPDC General Manager, Development and Community Relations, Mr Nedo Osayande, said the livewire programme was initiated in 2003 to encourage youths to be self-reliant.
Osayande, who was represented by the and Community Relations Manager, Mr Edesiri Akpomudjere, said it was the first time the programme was focusing on persons with disabilities
 ‘’Our goal is to capacity for business through access to entrepreneurship training and business development.
‘’These core commercial skills are combined with the necessary start-up capital with a focus on expanding or increasing youth-owned businesses in the state,’’ he said.
He emphasised the need for greater collaboration among all the major stakeholders in the region in order to make appreciable impact in the social development needs of the people.
Some of the beneficiaries, Mr Jumbo Iheanacho and Miss Ngozi Nwaguru, who trained in fashion designing, said that the company’s gesture would make significant turn-around in their lives.
The beneficiaries who were trained in fashion designing, welding, barbing and catering services, included 10 blind persons, 10 deaf and 10 physically challenged persons. (NAN)