Mr. Patrick Agha-Mba, Commissioner for Youth Development in Anambra, has stated that Governor Chukwuma Charles Soludo’s plan to create 1000 youth millionaires annually in his manifesto is not a political statement.
This remark was made during a Town Hall Meeting between Stakeholders and Community Leaders from Anambra North Senatorial Zone dubbed “Close the Gap Initiative.”
Mr Patrick Agha-Mba recalled how, in the middle of last year, when the pilot 1 Youth 2 Skill Solution Program registration began, he wrote to communities to let them know they are part of the exercise and will provide unemployed youths, but the number of communities that responded was only 60 out of 179 in the state.
According to the Commissioner, criminality, youth employment, and restiveness take precedence over all other issues in Nigeria.
“Our Governor has taken a proactive approach to security. I must express my heartfelt gratitude to him for his efforts in security matters.
“This meeting is about how we will come together as one family with the government. Fortunately for me, we began with communities, local governments, and state governments. I’ve worked in local government and now serve on the state executive council “He stated this.
“I discovered a significant gap in community and local government. When the state government does something, we at the local level have no idea what is going on. We have overcome these obstacles and discovered a significant gap.
“In my action plan, we will bridge the gap by bringing together communities, stakeholders, and relevant stakeholders with the government. We are grassroot, and we must give back to the grassroot.
“We formed a group of young people to assist in the development of local structures and the implementation of our policies. We must communicate with the people! We also organized social media volunteers and awareness-raising volunteers “He stated.
“The network we have established to ensure 1 Youth 2 Skills will extend throughout the state. This pilot arrangement has been tested and found to be functional.
“We want to complete the training pilot arrangements and move on to the first phase. We have master trainers as well as trainees in various skill acquisition areas.
“We established catchment areas in Onitsha north and south, Nnewi north, Awka, Ekwulobia, and Idemmili,” he explained.
“Our strategy is to send trainees to functional stop shops not only to learn a skill but also to be exposed to the business environment. Mr Governor has this on his agenda.
“Each initial phase, which has been tested within the ministry, is capable of producing 130,000 trainees and 3000 Master Trainers from various communities.
“I urge Traditional Rulers and President-Generals to ensure every youth is engaged in their communities. “You are the ones who will see that youths are involved,” he pleaded.
“Every empowered youth will proceed to the next phase, which is an entrepreneurship program. Following that, they will be eligible for business financing and mentoring for a year following their training.
“The Governor has approved the incorporation of the 5000 youths currently undergoing training into corporative societies,” he concluded.
HM Igwe Sir Ben Emeka (Okebo II) Igwe of Umueri, Chairman of Anambra North Traditional Rulers, stated that he made concerted efforts to ensure that all Igwe from Anambra North Senatorial Zone were aware of the meeting. He apologized for those who were unable to attend the meeting.
He expressed gratitude to the commissioner and stated that the call is for Anambra Youths. He went on to say that because youth make up 65% of the population, they have the power to choose Nigeria’s next president. He urged them to obtain their PVC and speak out.
Governor Soludo’s agenda, he explained, is to equip Anambra youth with two skills. According to him, the era of white collar jobs is over. It is up to the youths to do so.
Recalling how he spent a lot of money two years ago to organize a skill acquisition program in Umueri. He revealed that as of today, he cannot name a single beneficiary, owing to a lack of mentoring and monitoring.
He thanked the Governor for everything he is doing in Anambra State and encouraged Anambra youths to take the program seriously in order to improve their lives.
He also promised to take the message to the communities and the next Anambra North Traditional Rulers Council meeting.
Barr. Titus Akpudo, National President of ASATU, described Anambra youths as tomorrow’s leaders and brighter future.
He thanked Governor Soludo and Mr Patrick Agha-Mba for the TownHall Meeting’s success.
He stated that the Igbo people are God-blessed and hardworking people who can succeed on their own without the help of others. He stated that the Igbo people have been given a special gift.
According to him, the Ministry of Youths is committed to developing these special gifts in thousands of youths. When these thousands of youths are empowered and established, criminality in the state will decrease.
Traditional Rulers of Anambra North, President-Generals of Anambra North, Youth Leaders of Anambra North, and ASATU Youths are among those in attendance.