Soludo targets 5000 youths in 'One Youth, Two Skills' initiative

Soludo targets 5000 youths in ‘One Youth, Two Skills’ initiative

The EDIs would serve as trainers for the 5000 youths who would be drawn across the 21 LGA of the state

The Anambra State Government through the Ministry of Youth Development, has launched its ‘One Youth, Two Skills’ scheme aimed at addressing the unemployment challenges among youths, as well as to curb crimes and criminality.

The initiative, which is being implemented in partnership with Unizik Business School (UBS) of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, kicked off Tuesday, March 28, 2023, with a 2-day Workshop for Entrepreneurship Development Institutes (EDIs) under the Scheme.

The EDIs would serve as trainers for the 5000 youths who would be drawn across the 21 local government areas of the state in the initial phase of the project. It is also expected that the first phase of the project would create about 5000 jobs in addition to creating over 130,000 jobs, and making 1000 youths millionaires annually.

Speaking during the flag-off in Awka, the State Governor, His Excellency, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, represented by the Honourable Commissioner for Youth Development, Mr. Patrick Mba, said the goal of the scheme was to raise 5000 youth entrepreneurs every year, in addition to training chosen participants that will go through entrepreneurship training to equip them in the knowledge and tools necessary for them to start or expand their businesses for the economic development of the state.

Governor Soludo, who also said the programme was to develop and upskill young Anambrarians and enhance their productive opportunities, seized the opportunity to charge EDIs and the beneficiaries to make utmost use of the exercise.

“The economic downturns and upheavals being experienced in varying degrees and dimensions by countries all over the world, have made it imperative for many people of working age, even those with good education and multiple degrees, to have multiple avenues via which they can earn a living. 

“This is even more so important in our nation where current readings for key national economic performance indices such as inflation; access to, and cost of capital; youth unemployment and underemployment vis-a-vis the youth population, remain at undesirable levels and represent significant challenges for governments at both national and subnational level in the quest to deliver dividends of democracy to the citizenry”, Soludo added while he declared the event open.

In a remark, the UBS director, Prof. Emma Okoye, said the scheme was to empower young people with necessary skills, that will leap them into productive ventures, as well as to help beneficiaries become more responsible members of society. 

He assured that UBS was prepared to deliver on the assignment, while commending the state government for deeming it right to partner with the University. 

“The programme offers another opportunity for impacting on our young people so as to help in making them more useful and bring about a lasting and enduring solution to poverty reduction to Ndi Anambra”, Prof. Okoye said.

Also speaking, Prof. Chinedu Onyeizugbe, who is the chairman, ‘One Youth, Two Skills’ Entrepreneurship Scheme, described the scheme as laudable and timely, while disclosing that the curriculum of the training was developed by UBS experts, who would also monitor and evaluate the performances of EDIs over the course of the entrepreneurship training programme. 

While tasking EDIs to follow the training curriculum to the letter, Prof. Onyeizugbe, who is also the UBS Deputy Director, warned that any EDI that fails to meet up with expectations would be removed from the programme and replaced with other EDIs from the teeming waitlist.

Earlier, the University Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Charles Esimone, thanked the state government for partnering with the University, which, according to him, would be part of services offered by the institution as a community development service. He congratulated the selected EDIs and urged them to take the exercise as a very important assignment capable of liberating many youths from shackles of poverty.

In a vote of thanks, the Anambra State Chairman of Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME), Mr. Chinenerem Oguegbe, promised on behalf of other EDIs, that they would take the training serious, even as he urged the state government and UBS not to rest on their oars.

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