The Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, DESOPADEC, has taken a sizeable number of youths off the streets, courtesy of the DESOPADEC Skills Academy.
The academy successfully trained 160 youths across Delta State on Welding and Fabrication, hair dressing, make over, ICT, catering and other skills.
The graduation ceremony of the pioneer students of the academy took place on Wednesday, where they were given empowerment grants to enable them start up businesses with the skills learnt.
The Executive Director, Planning, Research and Statistics, DESOPADEC, Amb. Shedrack Agediga lauded the achievements of DESOPADEC Skills Academy.
Speaking to Daily Report Nigeria on Wednesday, The DESOPADEC Executive Director explained that the programme is an initiative of the DESOPADEC board tailored towards youth capacity building in line with the SMART agenda of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa.
He noted that there was need to identify youths who do not have anything doing and identify them through strategic profiling process to take them off the street to enhance their capacity and prepare them to be entrepreneurs.
In his words;
“This is an initiative of this present board tailored towards youth capacity building in line with the SMART AGENDA of His Excellency, the Governor of Delta State, Sen. Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa.
“What we have done is to take some youths off the street, because we discovered that we have a lot of youths with abilities but they are not available, and so what we did was to partition then into various skill areas; from Welding and Fabrication to Hair dressing, Make Overs, ITC, Catering and all of that.
“A total of 160 youths were enlisted as the pioneer students of the DESOPADEC Academy, and today we witnessed the graduation of the first set of the comprehensive 6 Months training.
“This is a critical development factor because we have a lot of youths male and female who are in our communities doing nothing and so they are always gullible and available to be used either by some leaders or politicians for whatever purpose most especially negative purposes. So what we have done is to identify them through strategic profiling process. They were all brought to us by community leaders, traditional rulers and representatives in DESOPADEC.
“What we have done is to enhance their capacity, prepare them to be entrepreneurs. We also did a one-day post convocation business seminar where they were taught how to manage businesses, booking, branding and all of that.
“This is a critical programme in the DESOPADEC agenda and also the agenda of the State. We are very happy that today we have been able to take away 160 youths from the streets of our communities.”