The Minister of Niger – Delta Affairs (MNDA) Sen. Godswill Akpabio CON, has disclosed that beneficiaries of the Training and Empowerment Programme for women and Youths from Niger-Delta Region on Apiculture, would get startup capitals to enable them establish enterprise in line with their training.
The Hon. Minister who was represented by the Deputy Director Training and Empowerment Department, Eng. Philip Ndiomu, disclosed this during the closing ceremony of the empowerment programme on Apiculture, in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
Sen. Akpabio said that the empowerment initiative put together by MNDA in conjunction with the training consultant, Excess Power NIG. Ltd. was aimed at diversifying the economy from dependence on crude oil, enhancement of Food Security and generation of employment opportunities for the people of the Niger – Delta Region, in line with the present administrations framework on economic development.
According to the Hon. Minister, the programme is structured into two major components. The training component was to provide economic skills, while the empowerment programme was to provide each beneficiary with a startup capital to enable them establish Micro and Small Businesses, that would benefit the trainees and generate other economic activities.
Explaining further, Sen. Akpabio noted 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”.
“It has also established cassava and oil palm processing plants and embarked on other agricultural mechanization processes 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” he said.
Earlier in his remarks, 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 thanked President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister, Obong Godswill Akpabio for this thoughtful and laudable initiative for people of the region, noting that it will go a long way in reducing vices and promoting peace within the region. He enjoined the participants to put the acquired skills and resources to best use and ensure that the programme does not start and end with them.
Highlights of the training for Youths and Women which lasted for one week from 16th-20th March, 2020 witnessed the presentation of certificates of participation to the thirty-nine (39) trainees who were selected across the Niger Delta Region.