Bayelsa State Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson disclosed at the weekend in Yenagoa that his administration has concluded arrangements to train 10,000 youths drawn from the eight local government areas of the State in different vocations.
Commending the decision of over 11,000 youths in the state to renounce cultism and other acts of criminality, the governor said the empowerment programme is part of his administration’s Restoration Agenda.
Expressing his administration’s readiness to collaborate with the youths in its bid to liberate them from a life of dependency, the governor said the training would commence in two months time after the conclusion of their verification exercise.
His words, ”if we do not help to build you all, then our future will not be assured. You are all aware of what our Restoration Government is doing; building schools, roads, hospitals, investing in security and making our state safe, talking to people to come here to invest so that we can create jobs for you.
“All of these will come to nothing, if we don’t help to equip you with the skills that you need to partake in the economy to protect our future.
“This exercise is not the end but just the beginning, by the time my team concludes the verification exercise and they will do it in a detailed way, local government by local government.
“When we are through with all of these, we are going to engage you in a special youth empowerment programme. A total of 10,000 youths will be engaged”
The beneficiaries, according to the Governor will be trained in Agriculture, traffic warden and the special surveillance system.
The Governor disclosed that N1 billion has already been set aside as soft loans for young enterpreneurs, adding that a youth summit would soon be held in the state to enable government identify their problems.
In his remarks, the Commissioner for Youths Development, Mr. Akpoebide Alamieyeseigha urged the youths to avail themselves of the various vocational programmes being set up by government.
He warned that with the re-integration programme of the repentant cultists, anyone caught formenting trouble would be penalized in accordance with the anti cultism law.
The state Commissioner of Police, Mr Tonye Ebitibituwa and the Special Adviser on Security to the Governor, Retired Col. Bernard Kenibai, advised the youths not to renege on their promise to shun cultism and other criminal activities.
Highpoint of the event was the oath-taking ceremony for the repentant cultists administered by the State Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice, Chief Francis Egele.