The YAGEPreneurs, comprising 64 youths from YAGEP 2016 Cycle who had completed their 3 months training and internship, were established with 138 fish ponds at Egbokodo-Itsekiri Fish Cluster in Warri South Local Government Area.
He pointed out that Egbokodo-Itsekiri Fish Cluster is the second largest and one of the five (5) fish clusters in the state, adding that other sites are in Ugbokodo-Okpe, Mbiri, Anwai and Alao-Ossissa
Addressing the beneficiaries, the State Governor, Senator (Dr.) Ifeanyi Okowa, said the State Government’s job creation programme is in fulfilment of his promise to create wealth through the provision of jobs for all Deltans.
While congratulating them for the successful completion of their training/internship session, he disclosed that the State Government is establishing each of them with 2000 post fingerlings, medication, feeds to enable them grow their fishes to table size and with other technical assistance.
The Governor represented by the Chief Job Creation Officer, Prof Eric Eboh, said the State Government is committed to promoting science based, knowledge driven and profit oriented agriculture, enjoining them to be the drivers of his vision of modern agriculture.
He noted that they would receive monthly stipend for six (6) months for the smooth take-off of their enterprises, calling on them to maintain discipline by obeying the rules and regulations guiding the fish cluster.
He charged them to work hard to become successful entrepreneurs and business managers in order to exceed the success stories recorded in the 2015 Cycle. “Your success is our success and our success is measured by your success,” he added.
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 added that the State Government is collaborating 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
On his part, the Honourable Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mr Austin Chikezie, pointed out that it is the wish of the State Government that they succeed considering its input in the selection, training and empowerment processes.
He affirmed that establishing them in clusters will encourage hard work and attract support from governments, private sector investors and donor agencies.
Some of the beneficiaries who spoke expressed their gratitude to the State Government for the foresight in initiating such a meaningful project to provide them with a dependable means of livelihood.
According to Micheal Suoye from Bomadi Local Government Area, “With these, I am well equipped, well informed and well trained for the future.
Present to witness the allotment of the fish cluster to the YAGEPreneurs were the Honourable Commissioner for Transport, Mr Vincent Uduaghan (REP); the Senior Special Adviser to the Governor on Agriculture, Hon. Julius Egbedi; the Managing Director of Songhai Delta, Amukpe and a member of the Job Creation Steering Committee, Dr Theophilus Okpidi; the Representative of PIND Foundation, Mr Sylvester Okoh; a Job Creation Resource Person, Mr Harris Smart among others.