Ekiti state government on Thursday distributed job starter tools worth N7 million to 66 youths in the state under its Youth Empowerment and Social Support Operation, (YESSO).
Handing the tools to the beneficiaries, the state Deputy Governor, Prof. Kolapo Olusola reiterated commitment of the present administration to employment creation for youths, as the focus was to alleviate poverty among the less privileged.
Olusola represented by the state Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Mr Gbenga Olajide, stressed that selection of the beneficiaries of the World Bank Assisted programme was devoid of political or religious bias.
He said those that benefited under the current phase were from Ado Ekiti Local Government, while other selected youths from Gbonyin, Oye, Ido/Osi and Ekiti West Local Government Areas would also benefit from the next phase of the programme.
The deputy governor urged the beneficiaries to justify the huge investment on them and use the tools judiciously.
He expressed confidence that the programme would serve as a good take off point to creating source of livelihood with the beneficiaries becoming employers of labour, leading economic growth and development of the society.
He urged officials of YESSO to monitor the usage of the tools to ensure that they are appropriately utilised.
In his remarks, the Director General, National Directorate of Employment (NDE), Dr Nasiru Ladan commended Ekiti government for being the first out of the seven states participating in the “Skill for Job” programme to purchase starter packs for the graduates.
According to him, 66 out of 70 youths trained in Ekiti were prepared to establish their businesses stressing that the programme was in the overall interest of the state.
The tools distributed include; Small and medium size generators, welding machines, drilling machines, industrial sewing machines, deep freezer and gas cookers.
Others are; high speed double presser machine, cutting machine, milling machine, tool boxes, laptop computers, soap and stove wick making machine, pumping machine and manual block molders.
The youths were selected from the single register generated by YESSO, with support of the World Bank and trained by the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) at various skill acquisition centres in various vocations.
Some of the vocations include; hair dressing, make-up, welding material fabrication, phone/video coverage, computer operator, confectionery, aluminum fabrication, fashion designing, electrical installation, bricklaying services and animal husbandry, among others.
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