Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, has presented entrepreneurship tools to another set of 850 skills acquisition trainees.
The governor presented the starter packs to the second batch of the Douye Diri Skills Acquisition and Empowerment Programme at the DSP Alamieyeseigha Banquet Hall in Yenagoa.
No fewer than1664 beneficiaries have so far been trained under the scheme in the last one year.
Addressing the trainees during the graduation ceremony, Governor Diri who charged them to utilise the training to empower themselves economically and become employers of labour described the participants as torch bearers of his Prosperity Administration and directed the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Investment to engage additional eight hundred trainees for the scheme.
Governor Diri, who said the training would be continuous, urged operators of the programme to monitor the progress of beneficiaries, make periodic reports to his office, commended the participants for comporting themselves during the training, noting that his administration had opened the floodgates of opportunities for them to excel in various trades.
He said with such skills acquisition schemes in place, Bayelsa was moving away from consumption to a productive economy and directed that the programme should not be politicized and that selection of beneficiaries should not be based on party affiliation as every youth in the state was first a Bayelsan before their party preferences.
In a speech, Commissioner for Trade, Industry and Investment, Mr. Federal Otokito, said the beneficiaries were trained in nine skill including fashion designing, shoe-making, solar energy installation and repairs, catering and paint making.
Mr. Otokito thanked the governor for putting in place empowerment programmes to build capacity of Bayelsans in order to grow the local economy.
Also, a director in the Centre for Women Development representing Southern Ijaw Constituency four, Mrs. Charity Godwin, said she initiated and operated the skills acquisition centre before the governor took over the scheme.
Mrs. Godwin expressed gratitude to Governor Diri for his humane gesture as well as providing starter packs to the trainees.
In their goodwill messages, Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Mr. Abraham Ingobere and a retired Permanent Secretary and former Director of Protocol, Mr. Joseph Akedesuo, applauded the state government for improving the economic wellbeing of Bayelsans.
Responding on behalf of other beneficiaries, Mrs. Profit Abeki from Kolokuma/Opokuma and Rosemary Anthony from Southern Ijaw local government areas said the scheme was a testimony that Bayelsans were capable of developing themselves.