Five hundred youths who were trained in five trade areas under the National Industrial Skills Development Program of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) were, at the weekend, presented with start-up kits by Governor Samuel Ortom.
The start-up kits were procured by the state government and presented to the youths who were trained for three months in different skills including Plaster of Paris, Fisheries, Confectionery, Welding and Fabrication as well as Tailoring and Garment making (fashion design).
Speaking at the graduation ceremony which held at the Ultra International Market, Makurdi, the Governor who noted that the training they received was a way of showing them how to fish rather than giving them fish urged them to make good use of the opportunity provided by setting up their own businesses in order to generate wealth and also boost the economy of the state.
While noting that skills acquisition was one of the steps his administration identified towards reducing unemployment in the state, the Governor said it was based on that that the executive council approved the establishment of three technical colleges across the three geopolitical zones of the state to equip youths with requisite skills to add value to their lives and the society.
He Governor Ortom who restated the commitment of his administration to sponsor more youths in addition to those slated for training in the next round of training by the ITF, expressed the assurance that the state government would continue to partner with agencies and institutions to ensure that Benue people access skills and working capital to support their business enterprises.
Earlier in his speech, Director General of the organization, Mr. Joseph Ari, while commending the State Government for providing the start-up packs for the trainees appealed to them to remain committed and dedicated to making a success out of the kits.
He disclosed that the agency would soon commence another training of 300 youths in each state of the federation who would be provided with starter packs by the agency just as he called on the Benue State Government to enroll another 200 youths in the next batch of training.
Also speaking, Commissioner of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Tersoo Kpelai, expressed appreciation to the Industrial Training Fund for the partnership and for its commitment on delivering on thir mandate adding that the graduates have been grouped into cooperatives for effective utilization of the kits.
Two of the beneficiaries, Martins Adu and Daniel Ajonye while thanking the state government for finding them worthy to be trained said the training had provided them with the opportunity to become self reliant and promised to judiciously use the kits to improve on their lives.