As part of its commitment to boost food production in the state, Delta State Government has flag-off the handing out of farm input support package to beneficiaries of the 2022 Youth Agricultural and Entrepreneurs Programme (Brown YAGEP) in cassava cultivation.

The flag-off exercise witnessed by the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Rt. Hon Festus Ogas, the Hon Commissioner of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Dr. Godfrey Enitan and the Hon Commissioner for Youth Egwunyenga, was attended by selected already existing youth farmers otherwise known as Brown YAGEP beneficiaries within Delta North Senatorial District.

While congratulating the beneficiaries, Hon. Agas stated, “The primary aim of every government is to make life more meaningful for its people. Delta is a developing economy. In 2015, Governor Okowa made a covenant with youths and women to create job. This was a promise made and a promise kept.”

He pointed out that the state government has trained and established 12,800 entrepreneurs through its various job creation programmes.

He charged them to make judicious use of the farm inputs and to be good ambassadors of Governor Okowa’s drive to make life more meaningful for them.

On his part, the Agriculture Commissioner, Dr. Enitan, reiterated the Governor’s passion to boost agriculture and food security in the state

He urged them to use the farm inputs support package to improve their livelihoods, especially in the agricultural value chain.

Also, Comrade Ifeanyi Egwunyenga, the Hon Commissioner for Youth, tasked them to have the right mind-set in order to use the support package to produce results that would enhance their lives and those of their families.

“This is a seed. The determinant of your productivity is your mind. It is how you see this support will determine if it will yield fruit or not. Seed is for sowing; it is not for eating. From the produce of your seed, you will eat during harvest,” he remarked.

Earlier, the Chief Job and Wealth Creation Officer and Head of the Delta State Job and Head Creation Bureau, Prof Eric Eboh, said that a total number of 1,520 YAGEP beneficiaries were trained, established and supported in various agricultural enterprises including poultry, crop production, piggery, fish production, agro-processing and agribusiness, from 2015 to 2021.

He pointed out that the 2022 YAGEP cycle which is the 7th cycle commenced with Orientation and Farm Enterprise Training (OFET)) last week with a target to cover a total of 300 Brown YAGEPreneurs in crop production and poultry production with 142 of them already enrolled in cassava cultivation.

According to him, “The handing-out of farm inputs support package, today, follows the orientation and farm enterprise training. For YAGEP beneficiaries in cassava cultivation, the farm inputs support package comprises agro-chemicals, knapsack sprayer, fertilizers, cash support of N100,000 for farm labour and cassava cutting of 50 bundles to each YAGEPreneur.

“This handing-out of cassava enterprise inputs at Asaba is the first distribution centre, which will be followed during this week and next week by distribution at various centres including Agbor, Oghara, Eku, Ughelli, Oleh and Amukpe. The distribution will cover a total of 142 Brown YAGEP beneficiaries in cassava cultivation.”

He explained that the YAGEP beneficiaries would be trained on best agricultural practices in efficient, profitable and innovative cassava enterprise management with the overall aim to help them become better agricultural entrepreneurs in the next months of the cassava farming cycle.

Responding, Peter Williams and Gloria Nwanokwai expressed their gratitude to the state government for the initiative, pledging to use the farm input support package to expand their farm enterprises and to boost food security in the state.


1. The Chief of Staff to the Gov., Rt Hon Festus Agas (2nd right) handing over farm inputs to a beneficiary, while the Hon Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr Godfrey Enitan and his Youth Counterpart, Comrade Ifeanyi Egwunyenga and the CJWCO, Prof Eric Eboh look on.

2.A cross section of beneficiaries

By Gertrude Onyekachukwu-Uteh and Ese Laura Oghene 

Beneficiaries of the Delta state Government’s Skills Training and Entrepreneurship Training (STEP) have been called upon to take their vocational training seriously in order to adequately equip themselves to practise their chosen vocational skills.

The Chief Job and Wealth Creation Officer and Head of the Delta State Job and Wealth Creation Bureau, Prof Eric Eboh, made the call when he paid an unscheduled visit to STEP trainees in Electrical Installation and Solar Works who were on field work with their trainer, Reignon International Company, in Asaba.

Prof Eboh expressed satisfaction with the efforts being put into training by the management of the company to ensure that the trainees receive valuable and practicable knowledge in electrical and solar works. This, he said, would prepare them for a life of self-employment after training.

He reiterated the state government’s commitment to nurturing them into great entrepreneurs, leaders and business owners, tasking them to take their future in their hands by ensuring that they make maximum use of the opportunity.

Meanwhile, the Managing Director of Reignon Int’l Company, Mr. Edewor Godspower, commended the state government for the job creation initiative which he said has empowered youths to create employment for themselves and others.

According to him, “The job creation programme is a good one, the first of its kind in Delta State. I currently have 10 STEP trainees in my company where I train them in electrical and solar works, CCTV camera installation, fire alarm systems, intercoms and computer networking.

“STEP has trained and empowered many youths by making them business owners and entrepreneurs. I know so many boys who are now on their own. Five out of those I trained in the last cycle are doing well on their own while one of them works with me. The present set of trainees are enthusiastic and willing to learn too.”

Reacting on behalf of the trainees, Valentine Udugba, expressed gratitude to the state government for the opportunity to be trained and established with starter packs free of charge after six years of underemployment as a Mass Communication graduate.

“STEP is a milestone for us and a dream come true. With this, we are a step ahead. The programme has helped to break the barrier of high cost of apprenticeship and establishing a business for us,” he remarked. 

By Gertrude Onyekachukwu-Uteh and Ese Laura Oghene

Adopt Delta YAGEP Model to Tackle Agricultural Problems, Eboh Tells Stakeholders

Stakeholders in the Agricultural Industry have assembled to identify solutions to various challenges plaguing the sector in Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa.

This was the overarching goal at the 7th Agricultural Policy Stakeholders Forum and 1st Annual International Conference organized by the Agricultural Policy Research Network (APRNet) in Asaba.

Beneficiaries of the Youth Agricultural Entrepreneurs Programme (YAGEP) enrolled into the 2022 cycle has received orientation with a call on them to use knowledge acquired to boost their farm enterprises.

The Chief Job and Wealth Creation Officer, Prof Eric Eboh, made the call during the Orientation and Farm Enterprise Training (OFET) in Asaba for cassava farmers enrolled in the 2022 YAGEP cycle in Asaba.

The one-day OFET was attended by 145 already existing cassava farmers with a view to making them agricultural entrepreneurs, better managers of resources in more successful and sustainable agricultural businesses.

Addressing the beneficiaries, the Chief Job and Wealth Creation Officer, Prof Eric Eboh, pointed out that the 2022 cycle is the seventh cycle after six successive cycles since the inception of the Okowa-led administration.

He reaffirmed that the Delta State Government has since 2015 trained and established 6,075 youths in various businesses of their choice through its Skills Training and Entrepreneurship Programme (STEP), Youth Agricultural Entrepreneurs Programme (YAGEP) and the Graduate Employment Enhancement Programme (GEEP.)

He emphasized that 1,520 youth farmers have been established or supported through YAGEP in the past seven years, adding that the 2022 cycle was targeted at over 800 beneficiaries, out of which 300 Brown YAGEP beneficiaries would be enrolled into the programme, including this first batch of 145 YAGEPreneurs in cassava production.

He said, “Since 2015, YAGEP has run six cycles as follows: 2015-2016, 2016-2017, 2017-2018, 2018-2019, 2019-2020, 2020-2021. Altogether, 1,520 YAGEP beneficiaries have been trained, established and supported in various agricultural enterprises including poultry, crop production, piggery, fish production, agro-processing and agribusiness, from 2015 to 2021.”

He listed the purpose of the OFET to include the enrolment and documentation of the new beneficiaries in the 2022 YAGEP cycle; to familiarize the beneficiaries with YAGEP principles and modalities; and to give training and advice for efficient farm management and best agricultural practices.

He disclosed that the farm enterprise training workshop would be followed with provision of support packages to the beneficiaries such as fertilizer, animal feeds, crop agrochemicals, livestock vaccination and others depending on the type of farm enterprise.

He added that the beneficiaries would be supported with money to pay for critical farm labour in land preparation, weeding, animal husbandry and harvesting as well as tuition in best agricultural practices in farm enterprise management, innovative production technologies and profitable agribusiness.

On his part, the Executive Assistant to the Governor on Youth Monitoring and Mentoring, Mr. Edward Mekwunye, assured the beneficiaries of his agency’s follow-up and mentorship to ensure the success of their enterprises.

Speaking separately, the Senior Special Assistants to the Governor on Job and Wealth Creation, Mr. Gerry Osai, Barr. Tony Omonemu, Engr. Chukwuka Osumili and Prince Charles Abutoh tasked them to apply professionalism into their farm enterprises in terms of marketing, management and cultivation.

Lectures as “Best Practices in Cassava Cultivation, Marketing and Farm Record-Keeping” and “How to Benefit from Nigeria Agricultural Insurance Scheme” were delivered by YAGEP Project Coordinator, Mr. Sam Ndikanwu and the Resource Person from the Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Company, Mr. Patrick Ejeteh respectively.

By Gertrude Onyekachukwu-Uteh

In preparation for the smooth take-off of the of the Delta State Government’s Skills Training and Entrepreneurship Programme (STEP) 2022 cycle, a workshop has been organized for STEP trainers.

The Trainers’ Workshop which took place in Asaba was attended by 135 verified trainers selected by the Delta State Job and Wealth Creation Bureau.

Addressing the participants, The Chief Job and Wealth Creation Officer and the Head of the Bureau, Prof Eric Eboh, stated that the workshop was to help the trainers familiarize themselves with the rules, regulations and code of conduct guiding the training of STEP beneficiaries.

He also stated that the workshop would perfect the documentation of selected STEP trainers before the onset of the training exercise and to obtain their commitment in the training process.

He listed six categories of skills available in the 2022 STEP cycle as Catering and Confectionery; Tiling and Interlocking; Hairdressing and Braiding; Audio-Visual-Services; Electrical and Solar works, and PoP, Screed-Making and Painting, adding that the training duration for the skills would be within a period of four to five months.

He emphasized that the State Government has in the past seven years trained and established 6,075 youths through STEP and the Youth Agricultural Entrepreneurs Programme (YAGEP.)

“Allow and guide the trainees to use your facilities to learn and to practise; provide qualified and well-motivated instructors during training exercise; follow the training manual, but add useful supplementary methods to help the trainees; inspect and sign the daily activity logbook; uphold the integrity of the programme which has been sustained since 2015, and report any irregular or troublesome trainee to the job creation bureau,” he charged them.

He commended the State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa for the political support given to the programme to ensure that it is sustained from inception till date, stressing that the 2022 STEP cycle is the seventh cycle in the series.

On his part, the Executive Assistant to the Governor on Youth Monitoring and Mentoring, Mr. Edward Mekwunye, harped on the importance of the trainers as partners in the job creation success story.

While emphasizing that the role of the Directorate of the Youth Monitoring and Mentoring (DYMM) is to ensure the success of the job creation and empowerment programmes of the State Government, he tasked them to put in their best to ensure that the training process is successful.   

Some Senior Special Assistants to the Governor on Job and Wealth Creation in the Bureau, Prince Charles Abutoh, Hon Emmanuel Osazuwa and Hon Leonard Esegbue, commended the State Governor for his commitment to creating job and wealth for the teeming unemployed youths in the state, appealing to the trainers to tap from their wealth of experience and to impact knowledge on the trainees to help them to realize the goals of the State Governor.

Responding, Mrs. Nora Mcwhite, the CEO of Obooboo Bubble Integrated Services, a female trainer in PoP, Screed-Making and Painting, lauded the STEP programme.

“STEP is a job creation programme for real people, real stories and real success stories. STEP is an applaudable programme and I am happy to be part of it,” she concluded.

By Gertrude Onyekachukwu-Uteh and Ese Laura Oghene

OKOWANOMICS IN ACTION: The Agricultural Sector Testimonial 

Prof. Eric Eboh

Chief Job and Wealth Creation Officer


In the last seven years, Delta State, under the excellent leadership of His Excellency, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, Governor of Delta State, has witnessed unprecedented positive social and economic transformations. These unparalleled achievements and impacts have not happened by chance. They are the outcomes of Governor Okowa’s critical thinking, clear foresight, sound planning, effective execution, smart coordination, political astuteness and executive intelligence. 

Considering the landmark nature of transformations across the economic sectors and the instrumental role of Governor Okowa’s personal effectiveness and superlative leadership, the present governance and developmental chapter in Delta State qualifies as the era of “Okowanomics”.

 The concept of Okowanomics denotes Governor Okowa’s development philosophy defined by his unique people-centred ideologies, policies and approaches of political governance, economic management and social mobilization.  In fact, Okowanomics is the philosophical foundation and development strategy for the wide-ranging and deep-seated social and economic impacts in Delta State from 2015 to date. 


Evidence of the impacts of Okowanomics abounds across the economic and social sectors as substantiated by development statistics regarding human capital development, poverty reduction, inclusive economic growth and better business environment. In particular, the sectoral footprints of Okowanomics include job creation and youth empowerment, road and transport infrastructure, growth and development of educational institutions, contributory health insurance system, development of tourism and sports. Others are prudent fiscal and economic management, development of the agricultural value chain, conducive investment and business environment, enhancement of micro and small enterprises through microcredit, gender mainstreaming and creation of social safety-net mechanisms. 


Today, the agricultural landscape of Delta State is dotted with historic landmarks of Governor Okowa’s developmental philosophy and economic management prowess. Within the framework of the S.M.A.R.T Agenda and the Delta State Medium-Term Development Plan 2016-2020, the agricultural sector has since 2015 been targeted with policies, strategies and programmes aimed at transforming and uplifting the agricultural value chain. The agricultural testimonial of Okowanomics is the economic philosophy of developing the agricultural value chain as the cornerstone of employment generation, wealth creation, economic inclusion and sustainable growth. 


In line with the personal effectiveness axiom “begin with the end in mind”, Governor Okowa enunciated and has been consistently implementing transformative agricultural programmes and projects since assuming office in 2015. The programmes include those implemented by Delta State Job and Wealth Creation Bureau (DSJCWB), Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources (MANR) and under Public-Private Partnership arrangements. Specifically, since 2015, the Job and Wealth Creation Bureau has been implementing Youth Agricultural Entrepreneurs Programme (YAGEP), Production and Processing Support Programme (PPSP), Delta State Agro-Industrial Park (DSAIP) at Aboh Ogwashi-Uku and Delta State Foods Export Initiative (DSFEI). These agricultural programmes and projects are collectively transforming the agricultural value chain, improving agricultural outputs-cum-productivity and promoting wealth creation. 


Moreover, the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources have been implementing commodity value chain support programmes and initiatives covering cassava, fishery, oil palm, vegetables, rice, maize and livestock. Through these programmes, farmers, agro-processors and service providers have received targeted support including production inputs and technologies, tractorisation, training and skills upgrading, market linkages, production credit and agricultural extension advisory.


With one thousand five hundred and twenty (1,520) youths trained and established or supported as agricultural entrepreneurs from 2015 to 2021, YAGEP has demonstrated that, with the right design and faithful execution, agriculture and agribusiness can attract the youths and tackle youth unemployment. Moreover, YAGEP has positively impacted the agricultural landscape of Delta State through the establishment and sustenance of youth-managed agricultural enterprise clusters, numbering more than twenty (20) across the state. Similarly, PPSP has shown how accurate targeting of smallholder farmers and agro-processors can be achieved through participatory design of support, rigorous vetting of beneficiaries and impeccable delivery of support items. 


The Agro-Industrial Park, under construction at Aboh Ogwashi-Uku, will be game-changer and growth pole for the agricultural economy. The envisaged impacts include creating markets and wealth for smallholder farmers, industrializing agriculture, stimulating efficient farm technologies and creating tens of thousands of direct and indirect jobs along the agricultural value chain. In the same vein, Delta State Food Exports Initiative has exhibited market-led development of the agricultural sector and its inherent ability to induce profitable investments in the farm subsector. Also, it has shown how to create thousands of jobs through integrated targeted development of cassava farming, transportation, processing, logistics and marketing.


Indeed, the agricultural development landmarks under the astute leadership of His Excellency, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, Governor of Delta State, are a major testimonial of Okowanomics in action. The agricultural development footprints of Governor Okowa are indelible signs of the economic impacts that can result from appropriate programme design, proper planning and faithful implementation backed by unwavering political commitment.



2022 trainees enrolled in the Skills Training and Entrepreneurship Programme (STEP) have lauded the Delta State Government’s for its job creation programme, describing it as the surest way out of poverty.

They made the commendations during the first series of Personal Effectiveness and Leadership Development (PELD) workshop held for them in Government House, Asaba.

The workshop tagged Leadership Class 101 was attended by 525 STEP trainees enrolled in the 2022 cycle who are on diverse vocational skills training in training centres across the state.

In his remark, Emitonye Tega enrolled in Electrical Installation and Solar Works, expressed satisfaction with the experience gained at his training centre in the past one month.

According to him, “Training has been good. It has changed my life. The skill and knowledge from PELD will equip me with life skills to make me self-employed. I studied Accountancy, graduated in 2020, but could not get a job. With STEP, I now see a bright future. Goodbye to poverty.”

He described STEP as a sustainable way of earning a living, pledging to work hard to market his brand in order to attract more clients to patronize his services.

For Eucharia Urhobocha in Catering and Confectionery, she said she was under-employed for two years after her university education till she enrolled in the 2022 STEP cycle.

To her, “STEP is a great opportunity for me to harness my passion for baking. I have learnt a lot. I hope to have a shop where I can render catering services to clients, train and employ other youths. I have registered my business, Ukraine’s Cakes and Snacks.”

Meanwhile, the Chief Job and Wealth Creation Officer, Prof Eric Eboh, in his opening remark, disclosed that PELD is an innovation to expose them to life skills in four lecture series such as Leadership Class 101, Leadership Class 201, Leadership Class 301 and Leadership Class 401.

He underscored the importance of the monthly leadership training which according to him would help the trainees to have the foundation of entrepreneurship and business success; learn how to lead themselves so as to lead others; support them in personal development, self-management, life skills, and help them to become complete STEP graduands.

He harped on discipline throughout the training period, saying that the Job Creation Bureau has zero tolerance to absenteeism, miscount and truancy, pointing out that 14 STEP trainees have been expelled from the programme and two trainers disengaged.

On his part, the Hon Commissioner for Youth Development, Comrade Ifeanyi Egwunyenga, re-emphasized the importance of discipline in the job creation programme. “Apply discipline to help you realize your potentials and to become successful entrepreneurs and business owners,” he admonished.

Also, the Chief Economic Adviser to the Governor, Dr. Kingsley Emu, in his remark, reiterated that the state government’s entrepreneurship development and job creation programmes have reduced unemployment in the state far below what is obtainable in other states.

He charged them to make good use of the opportunity to acquire leadership skills and mindset change to reposition themselves for a brighter future.

He advised, “Your destiny is in your hands. Use choice, chance, change to harness your potentials in order to become STEP ambassadors.”

By Gertrude Onyekachukwu-Uteh and Laura Ese Oghene

Screening has commenced for shortlisted candidates into the Delta State Government’s Skills Training and Entrepreneurship Programme (STEP) 2022 cycle.

 The screening exercise into the 7th STEP cycle which was being held at the Delta State Job and Wealth Creation Bureau, Asaba would last for two days, Wednesday 10th and Friday August 12th, 2022.