GOVERNOR Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, Thursday, said only enemies of the youths would criticise what his administration was doing for the youths of the state.
Speaking at the graduation of 1,000 Skills Training and Entrepreneurship Programme (STEP) and Youth Agricultural Entrepreneurship Programme (YAGEP) beneficiaries of the 2020/2021 programme cycle held at Events Centre, Asaba, Okowa told Deltans to be wary of deliberate mischief against the state government by its opponent.
He said citizens knew that no volume of devious criticism could taint the developmental efforts of his administration.
While warning that the state government would no longer tolerate people registering in other programmes after they had been trained and empowered in another programme, he said such acts were inimical to the progress of the state as perpetrators were blocking the chances of other Deltans from benefiting from the various job creation schemes.
Okowa said: “Recently I hear some people criticise what we are doing for the youths of our state, they speak in manners that are becoming nauseating.
“We don’t want to praise ourselves as a government but when I hear some people saying that Dr Okowa’s administration is doing nothing, I begin to wonder whether they are in Delta State or whether they are talking about other states.
“When we recognised that we are doing a lot in infrastructure in such a manner that has earned us recognition but I know that our greatest strong point is in ensuring that we give our youths the necessary skills to keep them strong and keep hope alive.
“Our youth training programmes both the STEPreneurship, YAGEPreneurship and other programmes is our strongest point and we have no apologies about it.
“We know that today Delta is one of the most peaceful states and it is because the youths are working in collaboration with the government.
“This is so because our youths are responsible they are passionate about their future and about this state, and the youths of Delta wants us to have a great state.
“We will ignore what they say but its important for us as youths that as we go into the future to realise that in order to keep the future of the current youths and those who are growing up, we must learn to exercise our political rights in such a manner that we do not waste our votes for those who do not mean well”.
Earlier in his remarks, Director-General of the Delta State Job and Wealth Creation Bureau, Professor Eric Eboh said the ceremony marks the formal closure of the 2020/2021 cycle of STEP and YAGEP, the 6th in the job creation programme series since 2015, adding that the cycle covered 1,000 beneficiaries comprising 654 STEPreneurs and 346 YAGEPreneurs, including 25 Persons with Disabilities (PwDs), one in each of the 25 Local Government Areas.
Eboh said all 1,000 beneficiaries have been duly trained in occupational, entrepreneurial and business skills and have been given starter packs and shop rent support.
He said: “Beneficiaries were given starter packs and support packages in batches upon successful completion of all the phases of training and fulfilling the eligibility requirements.
“Altogether, the job creation programmes – STEP and YAGEP – have covered 6,074 beneficiaries from 2015 to date. This number is part of the expanding portfolio of the state government’s job creation and youth empowerment programmes including RYSA, GEST, WESAP and ICT-YEP.
“In addition to the 1,000 graduands gathered here today, we have assembled a small sample of outstanding previous STEPreneurs and YAGEPreneurs already profiled in the STEP & YAGEP Hall of Fame”.
Speaking further, he said the Bureau has created some institutional development tools developed and already being applied by Delta Job and Wealth Creation Bureau to ensure organizationally and programme sustainability into the future.