Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri, on Monday during the graduation ceremony of 814 students of the Diri Skills Acquisition And Empowerment Programme, presented starter packs to 814 youths and flagged off training for about 317 other youths across the state, with a charge on young people to be useful to themselves and others.
The governor commended the initiator of the scheme, Mrs. Charity Godwin, for changing the narrative about Constituency 4 in Southern Ijaw, from being an area known for criminality to an entrepreneurial one.
“Indeed, today is one of my happiest days as I stand before women and boys graduating with skills. It is important that today you have skills and you will add value to yourselves and others around. This training will continue, and you will have to train others too. What Charity Godwin has done is flying with my vision.
“I like to call on the youths in Southern Ijaw, particularly Constituency 4, to shun all forms of criminality. Those who encourage you to do bad things do not love you. Those who love you are the ones giving you skills today and our government will continue to give you such opportunities.
“Do not go into ungodly business. Do things that will add value to yourself and your community.
“I am happy with your spirit. I can see that you did not even wait for your starter packs before you began putting your skills to use. We will be monitoring you to see how you are developing with a view to supporting you,” he said.
Earlier In a welcome address, the Commissioner for Trade, Industry and Investment, Mr Federal Otokito, described the event as remarkable in the life of the administration, saying it is in line with the governor’s charge to end political praise singing and raise entrepreneurs.
He thanked Governor Diri for making the programme a reality, stressing that it would go a long way in bringing prosperity to Bayelsans.
Delivering a programme overview, Director, Centre for Women Development, Southern Ijaw Constituency 4, Mrs Charity Godwin, thanked the governor for giving her the opportunity to serve, saying she has been using her office to further his desire to ensure that youths and women become self-reliant.
She explained that the training lasted about one year and the students have learned various skills such as fashion design, catering, shoe making, soap making among others.
Representatives of the beneficiaries, in their remarks, appreciated the governor and Mrs. Godwin for the training, assuring that the skills acquired will be put to profitable use.