Unemployment: DESOPADEC uplifts 173 through DSA; rewards best graduating students

Unemployment: DESOPADEC uplifts 173 through DSA; rewards best graduating students

By Abel Johngold Orheruata

Towards drastically reducing unemployment in the State, the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC), has graduated the third batch of its Skill Academy composed of 173 graduands (50 and 123 women) all of whom have been presented full Business Starter Packs with additional N200,000 each to help them set up.

A cross section of graduands of DESOPADEC Skill Academy

According to the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Commission, Chief Askia Ogieh JP, the six months intensive training in various vocational skills and business management is aimed at transforming the teeming unemployed youths in the State, especially in the oil producing areas into entrepreneurs and employers of labour.

The skill sets included Welding and Fabrication; Electrical Installations and Repairs; Information and Communication Technology, ICT; Health, Safety and Environment Services; Interlocking, P.O.P and Tiling in Building Services; Hairdressing and Makeover; Fashion Design; Catering and Confectionery; Cosmetology and Makeover; and Shoe Making.

The best trainees in the various categories were further awarded N200,000 each, while the overall best trainee, Iruegbu Anthony, received additional N500,000.

The 3rd Convocation Ceremony of DESOPADEC Skills Academy (DSA) which took place at the PTI Conference Centre, Effurun, Delta State today, Tuesday 31, January, 2023, was attended by the Visitor to the Academy and Vice Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, represented by his Chief of Staff, Rt. Hon Ovie Agas; traditional rulers, top officials of the commission and other stakeholders.

In his address, the Governor of Delta State disclosed that government cannot absorb all graduates from the various tertiary institutions hence the setting up of job creation outfits such as YAGEP, STEP and others.

Commending DESOPADEC for its interventionist role in assisting in the development of the state, Okowa, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Rt. Hon. Festus Ovie Agas, added that DSA is exceptional with thorough breed graduates that are well trained.

Another cross section of DESOPADEC Skill Academy.

While urging the graduands to be proud of their newly acquired skills and put their starter packs and cash backing into good use, he noted that the DESOPADEC Skills Academy is exceptional with the focus and commitment of the management and the quality training and discipline of the graduates.

“Please do not sell your Starter Packs. Keep, use them to develop yourselves, grow the Nigeria economy and become employers of labour. Your success will encourage government to do more for others”.

The Delta State Governor also advised DESOPADEC to set up Monitoring and Mentoring Unit to evaluate the progress and success of the DSA graduands.

Earlier in his address, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, DESOPADEC, Bashorun Askia Ogieh JP, said he was excited that DESOPADEC has, once again, succeeded in “re-skilling, upskilling, equipping and empowering a good number of our young persons to pursue a life of productive engagement, financial independence and self worth.”

Reflecting that the objective of the DSA draws from an important cardinal programme of the State Governor, which is Human Capacity Development, he pointed out that at the inception of the Board, three years ago, they found it imperative to key into the  vision knowing that it was aimed at enhancing the prosperity of the citizens for a Stronger Delta.

“This realisation gave birth to the DESOPADEC Skills Academy which we have now institutionalised to reinforce the impact of the State Government on the youth of our mandate communities.

“The world of today is driven by skills. Mere formal education without practical and professional skills is fast becoming unfashionable.

“This is especially so as gone are the days of reliance on white collar jobs in saturated Civil and Public services.

“Our national experience has shown that thousands, indeed millions, of young persons graduate from the universities yearly and march the streets for even longer years in search of office jobs in which there are little or no vacancies.

Starter Packs for DESOPADEC Skill Academy graduands

“The situation is worsened by the degree of the unemployable due to deficiencies in practical and professional skills.

“The Governor Okowa administration understood this clearly at inception and hit the ground running with several skills development and empowerment programmes through which thousands of beneficiaries are now proudly self employed with the added value of creating further employments.

“On our part, we saw the need to add more with a special programme for our people and we are thankful to His Excellency, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, for his love, concern and commitment towards the development of our oil producing communities and for approving and supporting us in this regard, notwithstanding that the State is already doing so much through the Job and Wealth Creation Office with programmes like STEP, YAGEP, RYSA and others.

“While we continue to maintain and accelerate our interventions in the provision of physical infrastructure like roads, bridges, jetties, markets, civic centres, and social services ranging from education to health, power and housing, our undertaking in human capital development is borne not only out of the need to mould our youths into skilled, productive and  independent men and women, but also out of the understanding that the life wire of prosperous societies is in the massiveness and effectiveness of small and medium scale enterprises, and that is our vision for our mandate areas”.

The MD of DESOPADEC disclosed that a total of 504 graduates from the three batches have been trained and set up in business and that feedback from the first and second batches makes the agency very proud of the impact of the programme and believe that the alumni of the 3rd batch would achieve even greater success. He therefore urged the graduands to work hard with determination to succeed.

Bashorun Askia Ogieh inspecting some statrter Parks for DESOPADEC Skill Academy graduands

“We have seen doctors, engineers, accountants and other professionals retrain themselves and make huge success in the vocational skills in which you have also now been trained. You must therefore take pride in your skill.

“From little a corn grow big oaks. The big business brands, the big national and international franchises we all admire, all started with the skills of the owners, some from their backyards, single rooms or garages. From there they developed into big manufacturers, international franchise eateries, global service providers, innovative technical and scientific solutions providers and much more.

“I therefore say to you, go and conquer, go and succeed because the world is yours.”

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