-Blank NEWS Online (NIGERIA): By Albert OGRAKA:
The Delta State Chief Job and Wealth Creation Officer, Prof Eric Eboh, has hailed Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, the Governor of the State for his all-inclusive leadership style of ensuring that persons with disabilities (PwDs) are always enrolled in the state government’s Skills Training and Entrepreneurship Programme (STEP).
Prof. Eboh stated this on Friday, November 20, 2020 while giving out starter packs to the PwDs in Asaba, the state capital.
The PwDs, 16 in number, are part of the 25 PwDs who benefitted from the STEP programme in the 2019/2020 Cycle and have undergone vocational training in Catering and Confectionery; Hairdressing, Makeover and Braiding; Shoemaking; PoP, and ICT. Their counterparts in Fashion and Textile Design; Tiling and Interlocking, and Welding and Fabrication whose trainings are for eight months would receive theirs at a later date.
Congratulating them for the successful completion of their training, the Chief Job and Wealth Creation Officer, Prof Eric Eboh, charged them to put their starter packs into good use.
He said their enrolment into the job creation programme is a clear testimony of the all-inclusive leadership style of Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, the Governor of the State. He added that PwDs have always been included in the programme since the 2016/2017 Cycle.
Prof Eboh represented by the STEP Coordinator, Mr Onyeisi Nkenchor, admonished them to keep hope alive and not to look down on themselves as a result of their physical challenge, stressing that there is ability in disability.
“Being trained for three or six months is an indication that you possess the ability to achieve your goals. I urge you therefore to use your ability to excel in your chosen businesses. Very soon, you will become employers of labour, CEOs and there is nothing that will stop you. As you receive your starter packs, we expect that in few months, we will start hearing good news about you,” he remarked.
Representing the Hon Commissioner for Women Affairs, Community and Social Development, Mrs Flora Alatan, the Director of Rehabilitation in the ministry, Mr Peter Okocha, explained that the welfare of PwDs fall under the purview of her ministry.
He said the Women Affairs Ministry work in collaboration with the Delta State Job Creation Bureau to nominate PwDs to be included in the job creation programme.
She alluded this to the prosperity agenda of the Governor who has rolled out programmes to reduce poverty in the state.
According to her, “Governor Okowa runs an inclusive government. We are in partnership with the job creation bureau. We have different categories of beneficiaries such as the visually impaired, the hearing impaired, the physically challenged among others. They are all part of the indigent. The whole idea is to reduce poverty.”
She tasked them to judiciously use their starter packs to improve their lives and to contribute to the development of the State, advising them to report whatever challenge they encounter in the course of establishing their businesses to the office promptly.
She emphasized that the State Government is interested in the welfare of PwDs.
Continuing, “That you are this way does not mean that you are not useful. Do not sell your starter packs. Start up immediately. Past beneficiaries are being monitored, showing that government has your interest at heart.”
Mercy Okoh (Warri South) in ICT lauded the State Government for coming to her aid at her time of hopelessness. “I have a first degree and a Masters’ degree in Information and Library Science since 2013, but no job. Senator Ifeanyi Okowa gave me the opportunity to become relevant.”
Also, Ochuko Okpobrisi Kelly (Ughelli North) in ICT expressed satisfaction with the nomination and training. Being unemployed as a university graduate since 2010, he pledged to use his starter pack and the knowledge acquired to start up a business and to build it to enviable heights.