Lawrence Nwimo, Awka
Acting National Youth Leader of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Mazi Chukwuma Okpalaezeukwu, has commended the distribution of N2billion grants to 5,000 graduates of the One Youth Two Skills initiative of Anambra State Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo.
Soludo had during the Graduation, Certification and Start-up Grants Ceremony, presented varying sums of grants, ranging from N500,000 to N1,000,000 to the graduates trained across various skills under the entrepreneurship and apprenticeship systems.
Okpalaezeukwu in a statement on Sunday, said the grant is a giant step towards fighting crime and insecurity in Anambra State.
He also said that the engaging the youths in gainful ventures had automatically made them unavailable for crime and other vices.
He said, “Anambra State under Governor Soludo has again recorded a major milestone by this initiative. Recall that he had in his manifesto, promised to raise 1,000 youth millionaires annually.
“These graduates, with the grants given to them will go ahead to become wealth creators and employers of labour which will in turn, translate many of them to millionaires, billionaires and even so much more.
“For me, the governor did not just teach these youths how to fish, he also gave them the nets, the hooks and other equipment to fish. They will have no reason whatsoever, to look in the direction of crime.
“This is what Ohanaeze Ndigbo under the leadership of Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu has been preaching and it is such a delight to see Governor Soludo thinking in this direction.
“This is consistent with the apex Igbo socio-cultural group’s vision to build the Igbo land of everybody’s dream.”
While commending the form the programme was designed to first empower the youths with skills before providing them with seed capital, the youth leader argued that the arrangement would ensure the grants were not wasted.
He also applauded the mentorship and business development support which the government has negotiated with some partners, to enable the beneficiaries grow their businesses.
“I wish to remind the beneficiaries that they have a huge responsibility to take up the challenge of building other youths who were not fortunate enough to benefit from the process.
“With the grants they can become creators of wealth and labour, moving other unemployed youths out of the unemployment net.
“The governor has set the ball rolling, it is now the duty of the beneficiaries to see to it that this initiative blossoms, by appropriately deploying the start-up capital to grow their businesses.
“We are looking forward to a spike in the number of start-ups in the state, as well as Small and Medium Scale enterprises, who are the actual drivers of any economy.
“The challenge is now theirs and we are hopeful that they will not betray the trust reposed in them by Mr Governor,” he added.