–From Albert OGRAKA:
Governor of Delta state, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa has lauded the tremendous efforts of the management of Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC), in upscaling the skills acquisition programs in the state.
Governor Okowa stated this during the graduation ceremony of the second batch of trainees of the DESOPADEC Skills Academy on Friday, July 01, 2022 at the PTI Conference Centre, Warri.
All 168 trainees admitted to the Batch 2 vocational diet of the DESOPADEC SKILLS ACADEMY successfully scaled through.
The Governor, who was represented by the Secretary to State Government (SSG), Chief Patrick Ukah encouraged them to have integrity for sustainable growth in their various businesses in wealth creation.
He said that the management of DESOPADEC have demonstrated its willingness to improve the economic base of the state, in accordance with the wealth creation policy of government.
He mentioned that the state government have been able to create success stories from its job and wealth creation programs, adding that beneficiaries from the various vocational programs have become employers of labour through full scale engagement of youths in meaningful endeavors.
“I commend the MD of DESOPADEC, Bashorun Askia Ogieh, and the management team for complimenting the efforts of government in ensuring that unemployment is reduced in our state through this empowerment programme.
“I congratulate all the graduands and wish them well as they move on to becoming entrepreneurs in their various fields of endeavours.”
In his address, the Managing Director/CEO of DESOPADEC, Bashorun Askia Ogieh disclosed that the roadmap of the Commission’s human capital development initiative to empower two batches of youths (males and females) have been on since 2021.
He said, ‘This pragmatic and bold initiative which is on all fours with the broad entrepreneurial agenda of our able Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa to cover the field at the State level has turned out to be more impactful, even exceeding our expectations.
Thanks to the skills acquisition and empowerment schemes of His Excellency, today over 100,000 direct jobs and one million indirect jobs have been created since 2015.
“As key participants with the global community, the policy intent of the Skills Academy finds solid hinge on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) geared essentially at improving lives, boosting skills, becoming employers of labour instead of being liabilities in a hugely fractured contemporary social system, and creating an innovative ambience of eking out a legitimate living that conforms with peaceful order and mutual coexistence.
“The bold initiative we took as a Board in the first quarter of 2021, in the face of a crunch and highly challenging Nigerian economic environment, to square up and re-skill our people in several vocational areas within the mandate oil-bearing communities, has undoubtedly paid off for the successful trainees and their families.
“This was our altruistic objective – giving life to our people to become self sustaining and employers of labour. The intention was to change the hitherto forlorn and hopeless narrative, and the testimonies pointedly attest to this.
“The feelers I got from the monitors of the maiden graduates of the Academy who are doing extremely well in their chosen skills across the State, have been glowingly encouraging and reassuring that we have not wasted scarce resources to commence the programme in whatever way. I am told that some of the last graduates may end up as trainers in the next edition! This is highly fulfilling for us as a Commission. This is how it ought to be. Our products have demonstrated that we had a noble liberating vision beamed on us and we are running with it full swing.
“Again, we are here today to present the second batch of graduands of the Academy to the public. They have undergone a grueling six-month drilling in preferred vocational disciplines that include:
*Hair Dressing; Makeover and Organic Skin Care Production; Fashion Design and Tailoring; Electrical Repairs, Installation and Solar Works; Catering and Confectioneries; POP, Tiling and Interlocking; Welding and Fabrications; Shoe and Bag Making; Information and Communication Technology as well as Health, Safety and Environment.
“They have been monitored and evaluated, assessed and taken practical and theory-based examinations including those of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity. They have been adjudged fit and proper to receive the FML&P Trade Test Certificates 2 and 3; and DESOPADEC Skills Academy Certificate of Competence. These qualify them to work and operate in and outside Delta State.
“I am delighted to announce to this gathering that of the total number of 168 trainees admitted to the Batch 2 vocational diet of the DESOPADEC SKILLS ACADEMY, all of them successfully scaled through! This time around, unlike last year when we had a few cases of indiscipline roundly visited, no trainee wanted to be left out, probably due to the high level of seriousness of the monitors with attendant sanctions for notable infraction of the rules and regulations. There was no incidence of absenteeism, indiscipline beyond tolerance or outright refusal to complete the programme.
“The level of commitment, ethical composure, focus, discipline, and determination to succeed were topnotch and on behalf of the Board and Management of the Commission, I say congratulations to all the graduands set to change and garnish the course of their glorious destinies with new skills sets, values, competences and managerial savvy.
“As in the maiden edition of the programme that saw us resourcing the graduands with Grade A Starter Packs, today does not intend to be any different. If any, it is a massive improvement to fully support them both financially and tool-wise. As you can attest physically under the massive tent outside this auditorium, we have again provided all the work facilities and gadgets for a successful take off, aside the financial largesse to kick-start their entrepreneurial journey.
“Our rich bouquet starter packs procured at great cost and sacrifice by the Commission with the unalloyed executive backup of our dear Governor and incoming Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Sen. Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, are instant statement that when we are commit to a course with unbroken resolution, there is no looking back like Lot’s wife!
“We could easily have trained the graduands and given them a qualifying certificate and no more without anyone calling us to question. But we elected to go the extra mile at great sacrifice to complete the cycle of engagement with them. This is how it should be. I therefore use this medium to appeal to our children and wards to understand the dynamics of an interventionist agency like DESOPADEC and how we operate.
“The task of tackling unemployment among the youth is surmountable. Hence we believe that with the even higher number of graduates from our universities in the coming years, the DESOPADEC Skills Academy will continue to evolve innovative strategies to create new vistas of opportunities for our youths.
“As an intervention agency, DESOPADEC will continue to respond to the yearnings of our mandate areas. With this Academy focused on the youth, the objective is to have a paradigm shift in the fortunes of the younger generation by making the beneficiaries of the scheme the pivot for a new narrative amongst our youths.
“To the graduands who already have a date with history, I congratulate you once again and urge you to run with this vision to a certain glorious end. The Delta State Government via the Commission has done its prime best for you. Do not disappoint destiny. Do not fail your family. Do not undermine this costly effort of the Government on you.
“For every one of you, a thousand crave to be in your shoes. Maximize this window and be the new KFT, the innovative Toyota in the waiting, and the new Mary Kay of your generation. In one word, make Delta State proud. Become the successful entrepreneurs in your chosen skill and join the State government to lift others from the deprivation bracket.
“May I state for the umpteenth time that our vision is that through your success which you have demonstrated in this programme, a new mentality driven by the desire to see opportunities in the oil and gas industry for which our State is known, takes root in our region. This is what we need to get our young men and women shun the resort to short cuts and unedifying activities to be seen as successful in life.