The allocation of the one hundred and fifty-four (154) YAGEP fish ponds located at Ugbokodo in Okpe Local Government Area was launched with seventy-seven (77) YAGEPreneurs at the ratio of 2 fish ponds to a beneficiary to enable them to start-up their enterprises in Fishery.
Addressing the beneficiaries, the State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, disclosed that the Ugbokodo YAGEP Fish Cluster is one out of the five (5) fish clusters in the state.
According to him, others site are in Mbiri, Alao-Ossissa, Egbokodo-Itsekiri and Anwai.
He stated that each YAGEPreneur would be started-up in the Fishery enterprise with 2000 post fingerlings and would be supported with sufficient fish feeds till the fishes mature to table size.
The Governor represented by the Chief Job Creation Officer, Prof Eric Eboh, added that the post fingerlings would be supplied to all YAGEP cluster farms in the state by Songhai Delta, Amukpe, assuring them that they would be placed on a monthly stipend to cater for their welfare for six (6) months and a micro credit loan immediately they take over their ponds to ensure a smooth take-off.
While encouraging them to organize themselves into cooperative societies so as to benefit from the State Government’s Micro Credit Scheme and support to fish farmers, he said the Office of the Chief Job Creation Officer will provide them with support for registration with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
He charged them to work hard to become successful entrepreneurs and business managers. “Your success is our success and the success of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s administration is measured by your success,” he added.
He noted that the YAGEPreneurs have the capacity and knowledge to succeed having received class-based training in Songhai Delta, Amukpe and internship in different fish farms across the state on Fish Production for three months.
He also said the State Government is synergizing with other agencies involved in tackling youth unemployment such as Chevron sponsored PIND Foundation in terms of provision of technical support and mentoring to the YAGEPreneurs.
He pointed out that the positive outcome of the environmental impact assessment on the area was one of the critical factors considered before the selection of Ugbokodo as a location for fish cluster in the state, assuring them that the location is safe from flooding.
Two of the beneficiaries, Blessing Okiti (Okpe Local Government Area) and Williams Ukpaka Victor (Ughelli South Local Government Area), speaking on behalf of others expressed their gratitude to the Delta State Government for its efforts at tackling youth unemployment.
They pledged to work hard to become great entrepreneurs and success stories of the job creation scheme.
Present to witness the allocation of the fish ponds to the YAGEPreneurs were the Senior Special Adviser to the Governor on Agriculture, Hon. Julius Egbedei; the Managing Director of Songhai Delta, Amukpe and a member of the Job Creation Steering Committee, Dr Theophilus Okpidi; a representative of PIND Foundation, Mr Charles Agbroko; a Job Creation Resource Person, Mr Harris Smart among others.
The Office of the Chief Job Creation Officer was created as a special purpose vehicle for the actualisation of job and wealth creation under the S.M.A.R.T agenda. The job and wealth creation scheme has been tagged OkowaPlus.