198 Youths Graduate from NDDC, ESI Agency Banking Training

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The NDDC Acting Managing Director, Engr. Emmanuel Audu-Ohwavborua, (left) presenting a certificate to one of the participants, Mr. Paul Ijeh, (right) during the graduation ceremony of the NDDC/ESI Entrepreneurial Development Scheme, in Port Harcourt. In the middle is the NDDC Director Commercial and Industrial Development, CID, Mr. Messiah Obuzor.

The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, in conjunction with the Empowerment Support Initiative, ESI, a Non-Governmental Organisation, has trained 198 youths in agency banking, as part of its skills acquisition programmes in the Niger Delta region.

Speaking at the graduation ceremony of the NDDC/ESI Entrepreneurial Development Scheme, in Port Harcourt, the Commission’s Acting Managing Director, Engr. Emmanuel Audu-Ohwavborua, said that the training was in line with the Federal Government’s plans to lift 100 million people out of poverty.

He said: “All of you graduating from this programme today are among the people President Muhammadu Buhari promised to lift out of poverty. NDDC has put in a lot into this programme. The only thing you owe us is to succeed and become employers.

“We thank Mr. President and the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Obong Umana Okon Umana, for their support in making this possible.”

Audu-Ohwavborua observed that skills acquisition and human capital development were some of the key areas the NDDC was paying special attention to in order to engage the youths and help to improve the lives of people in the Niger-delta region.

He noted that NDDC’s objective was to get the youths to acquire meaningful and self-sustaining skills that would improve their lives, support their families and communities and thus reduce criminality in the Niger Delta region.

The NDDC boss urged the ESI’s graduates to take advantage of the life-changing opportunities, not only to ensure better life for themselves and their families, but also to employ others.

Making her remarks, the Founder of ESI, Dame Judith Amaechi, said the primary goal of the initiative was to enable youths and women have access to empowerment opportunities through vocational training.

Mrs. Amaechi, who was represented by a former Commissioner for Women Affairs in Rivers State, Dr (Mrs.) Joeba West, said that the partnership with the NDDC has been very successful going by the results of the various training programmes they had executed in the past.

She applauded the Commission for collaborating with ESI in its training programmes, noting that the cooperation of NDDC and other sponsors had remained the driving force behind the success of the ESI entrepreneurial trainings.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Secretary ESI Board of Trustees, Barr. Michael West stated that the mission of ESI was to reduce poverty by developing training schemes that would empower and secure opportunities for the sustainable livelihood of youths and women.

He explained: “ESI was founded as a Non-Governmental Organisation on October 16, 2008, by the former First Lady of Rivers State, Dame Judith Amaechi, to vigorously pursue the development and welfare of indigent women, children and youths in the society as well as provide practical technical assistance and support to the socially and economically alienated members of the society through its skills acquisition programmes.”

West said: “We are determined to equip our people with skills that are sustainable and that will make them to be self-sufficient and even employ more persons.”

During the graduation ceremony, the 198 beneficiaries were given starter packs, to enable them kick off their businesses on a right footing.

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