Bayelsa State Government has indicated its readiness to partner TAG International UK for the implementation of the Brighter Futures Programme of the United Kingdom to boost its crime prevention efforts in the state.
The State Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, gave the indication when a delegation of the UK-based group paid him a courtesy visit in Government House, Yenagoa.
Senator Ewhrudjakpo observed that the objectives of the Brighter Futures Programme were in tandem with the State Government’s deliberate and coordinated efforts at engaging the youths in productive ventures to divert their attention from drugs and crimes.
According to him, government was ready to work with the TAG International UK for the implementation of the programme by expanding the frontiers and strategies of youth engagement.
Emphasizing the need for expanding the capacity of those trained for the execution of the Brighter Futures Programme, he said concerted efforts would be made to position the trained personnel in all the eight local government areas of the state.
Senator Ewhrudjakpo noted that through effective engagement of the youths in sports and other empowerment programmes, Bayelsa ranks among the safest states in the country, in addition to having a functional committee on drug abuse prevention and rehabilitation.
He assured the visiting team that relevant government bodies such as the Ministry of Youth and Sports, and Centre for Youth Development would jointly design a workplan with TAG International UK to ensure seamless implementation of the programme in the state.
Earlier in a remark, Team Lead for TAG International UK, Mr. James Donally, said they were in Bayelsa to seek government’s partnership for the implementation of the UK Brighter Futures Programme, which is aimed at preventing youths involvement in serious and organized crimes.
Mr Donally, pointed out that the Brighter Futures Programme, initiated in twenty twenty two, is currently being implemented in four pilot states, Lagos, Zamfara, Edo and Bayelsa.
He said the strategic areas of focus in the programme include mentoring of youths, strategic communication involving communities, as well as building capacity on the methodology for prevention of organized criminal activities.
Mr. James Donally was accompanied by the project manager, Mr. Emeka Ukatu, and the Bayelsa State Coordinator, Mr. Philip Slaboh on the visit.