Senator Godswill Akpabio CON, the Hon Minister of Niger – Delta Affairs (MNDA) Sen., has announced that all the beneficiaries of the Training and Empowerment Programme for women and Youths from Niger-Delta Region on Apiculture would be given startup capitals to enable them establish businesses that were in tune with the skills they have acquired.
Senator Akpabio made the disclosure during the grand finale of the skills acquisition programme on Apiculture recently in Uyo Akwa Ibom State where he was represented by the Deputy Director Training and Empowerment Department Eng. Philip Ndiomu.
According to Sen. Akpabio, the empowerment initiative put together by MNDA in collaboration with the training consultant, Excess Power NIG. Ltd. Was geared towards diversifying the economy from reliance on crude oil, enhancement of Food Security and creation of jobs for the people of the Niger–Delta Region.
The Hon. Minister added that, “the programme is structured into two major components. The training component is to provide economic skills, while the empowerment programme is to provide each beneficiary with a startup capital to enable them to establish Micro and Small Businesses that would benefit the trainees and generate other economic activities.
Expatiating further, Sen. Akpabio pointed out that, “the Ministry is actively involved in other empowerment programmes such as the distribution of Tricycles and Motorcycles to entrepreneurs and farmers to ease the transportation of goods and services, provision of sewing Machines and other accessories for fashion designers. It is also giving fishing gears (Lines, nets, hooks, sinkers etc.) Fishing Crafts (boats, canoes with outboard engines) as part of the agriculture mechanization improvement support programme for communities”.
He also said that “It has also established cassava and oil palm processing plants and embarked on other agricultural mechanization process to promote agro-processing activities. In addition, the Ministry is equipping ICT Centers and Schools for education and Capacity building on leadership management. Hospitals are also being equipped to improve healthcare services and social outreaches have been set up for continuous sensitization to improve Peace and Security and livelihoods generally in the Niger Delta Region”.
Speaking earlier, representative of Excess Power Nig. Ltd., and coordinator of the programme, Mr. Dickson Dickson, explained that Apiculture involves Bee keeping and farming for health and economic benefits. He commended President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister Obong Godswill Akpabio for the thoughtful and laudable initiative for the people of the region, pointing out that that it will go a long way in reducing vices and promoting peace within the region.
He charged the participants to put the acquired skills and resources to best use and ensure that the programme did not start and end with them.
The one week programme, which started from the 16th – 20th of March, 2020, ended with the presentation of certificates of participation to the thirty-nine (39) trainees who were selected from across the state of the Niger Delta Region.
*** Amechi Idumuebor