by Philip Nweze,
Governor David Nweze Umahi of Ebonyi State has set up a 29 man committee to actualize his administration’s programme on women and youth empowerment.
Inaugurating the committee headed by the Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Charles Akpuenika, in Abakaliki on Tuesday, Engr. Umahi pointed out that N130m had been approved by the House of Assembly for the empowerment of women and youths , but regretted that the money could not be disbursed because there was no clear direction on how to implement the programme.
He said, “I don’t know how many months back that the House of Assembly approved N130m for empowerment of the people but up till now, there is no clear direction when we will disburse the money.”
The governor therefore charged the committee to carry out a census of unemployed women and youths in the state, stressing that those to benefit from the scheme must be engaged in trades like ICT, poultry, fishery, vocational training and agriculture.
He warned that, “No person should participate in more than one scheme until everybody has gotten a chance .”
Umahi stated that the youth would be given the opportunity to participate in contracts. According to Governor Umahi, “the youth can do contracts and women can do contracts also. I want them to participate in UBEB projects and other projects in the state.”
He disclosed that the government would soon be signing a memorandum of understanding with a company for the revitalization of the state hatchery under the state’s Agricultural Empowerment Scheme to make it economically viable.
Umahi further charged the committee to form sub-committees in the areas of agriculture, ICT training, UBEC project execution and other viable enterprises that would enhance the well-being of the potential beneficiaries.
“It is your duty to ensure that any foreign company that comes here to do business have certain percentage of Ebonyians employed,” he charged the committee members.
In his response, the Chairman of the committee, Mr. Akpuenika assured that the committee would do all within its reach to ensure that the vision of the state government on women and youth empowerment is realized.
Earlier in his remarks, the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Rt. Hon. Augustine Nwankwegu, said the inauguration of the committee was a clear demonstration of government’s concern for the well-being of the people of the state.