The Edo State Government has commenced an intensive training programme for youths and women in the three oil and gas-producing local government areas of the state.
The training programme tagged “2022 Aguakpa GheIgbama,” was organized by the Edo State Oil and Gas Producing Areas Development Commission (EDSOGPADEC).
The youths and women were trained in several vocational skills including welding and fabrication, plumbing, agriculture, catering and decoration, shoe and bag making, fishery, poultry, piggery and panel beating, among others.
In his keynote address, the Edo State governor, represented by the chairman of EDSOGPADEC, Pastor Kennedy Osifo,reaffirmed the government’s commitment to the welfare of women and youths in the state, adding that the training is in furtherance of the governor’s vision to better the lives of the people of the oil and gas producing areas in the state.
He added that the commission, since its inception 15 years ago (2007), had focused majorly on infrastructural development including the construction of roads, health centres, schools, courts, markets and town halls, which he said, had not completely addressed the dissatisfaction of youths in these communities.
Osifo added, “this present administration of the commission had the mandate from Mr. Governor to also intervene in core areas of infrastructural and human capital development in the three oil and gas producing local government areas of the state.”
He said it has become imperative to engage more youths in self-development so that they would be frontline beneficiaries of the opportunities that the Gelegele Seaport and the Industrial Park initiatives of the state government would throw up in the short, medium and long term.
The commission’s chairman explained that EDSOGPADEC is focusing on empowering youths and women with a view to assisting them to develop their community-based business enterprises that would improve their living conditions and reduce the level of restiveness in these communities.
He said “the training will last five months which is split into three months hands-on training and two months of apprenticeship,” assuring that “successful trainees will attend a seminar on how to start and manage a micro, small and medium enterprise, successfully and in the end, they will be empowered with the necessary tools and equipment, inclusive of indirect financial aid and linkage to farm hubs.”
The managing director of Edo State Skills Development Agency, EdoJobs, Mrs. Ukinebo Dare, urged the trainees to take the programme seriously, reassuring the government’s commitment to improving the livelihoods of the people.