As part of measures to reduce the high youth unemployment rate in Delta State, a total of 17,173 private sector jobs have been created by the state government in the last one year, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has disclosed.
Speaking with reporters in Asaba as part of activities to commemorate his one year in office he said the figure consisted of 6,800 direct jobs and 10,373 indirect jobs of both skilled and unskilled workers.
The governor explained that as a Special Purpose Vehicle, the Office of the Chief Job Creation Officer accounted for 7,522 of these jobs while the remaining 9,651 were created through projects, programmes and initiatives implemented through the various Ministries, Department and Agencies.
He said that the vision of his administration is to drive an inclusive economic growth policy that works for all and constantly retooling the processes to fund the unfunded which included the poor, women and vulnerable in the society – so that they can prosper Okowa said that the purpose of the Medium Enterprises Development Agency is to make it more responsive towards the needs and aspirations of this category of people, noting that between May 2015 to April 30,2016, the sum of N546m disbursed to a total number of 3,110 within the various micro, small and medium enterprises.
Giving a breakdown of the beneficiaries, the governor said that they included 2,052 females representing 66% of the loan recipients and 1,058 males representing 34%, a ratio is in compliance with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) regulations that 60% of micro credit should go to women.
According to him, the fiscal consolidation measures his administration put in place enabled it to achieve a great deal of macro-economic stability while creating the right conditions to implement its programmes.
He said: “Had we not taken the steps we took, our financial system would have been on the verge of collapse by now; the global price of oil has continued to tumble, the Naira has substantially weakened against the dollar, and recent security challenges in ulating and increasing the yield of our small-holder farmers through the Production and Processing Support Programme (PPSP), as the PPSP is aimed at up scaling the use of modern farm inputs and technologies of small-holder farmers to increase the yield of crop, livestock and fishery enterprises; towards this end, we distributed tractors to 64 Cooperative Societies and another set of 106 Cooperative Societies got Mellon Shellers while 18 other Cooperative Societies received Outboard Engines and Fishing Gears support packages.”
On education, he added that the state government was working to ensure a paradigm shift from certificate acquisition of vocational and technical skills by the teeming youth population and was the reason he sent the Delta State Vocational and Technical Education Board Bill to the State House of Assembly.
He said that the bill which was meant to provide the regulatory framework to administer and promote technical education in the state was passed and signed into law in June 2015 and since then three technical colleges in Ofagbe, Sapele and Agbor have been reconstructed / rehabilitated and equipped.