Governor Chukwuma Soludo, of Anambra State, will churn out 1000 youth millionaires annually in fulfilment of election manifesto, Commissioner for Youth Development, Mr Patrick Agha-Mba vowed.
He stated this in Onitsha on Thursday during a town hall meeting between stakeholders and community leaders from Anambra North Senatorial Zone dubbed “Close the Gap Initiative.”
He said Soludo’s plan to create 1000 youth millionaires annually as stated in his manifesto was not a political statement.
He recalled how in the middle of 2022 when the pilot ‘1 Youth 2 Skill Solution Program’ registration began, he wrote to communities to let them know that they were part of the exercise and would provide employment to unemployed youths, but sadly, the number of communities that responded were only 60 out of 179 in the state.
He said, “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.
“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 grassroots, and we must give back to the grassroots.
“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 stressed.
“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.
“I urge Traditional Rulers and Presidents-General 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.
The Chairman of Anambra North Traditional Rulers who is also the Traditional Ruler of Umueri, Igwe Ben Emeka stated that he made concerted efforts to ensure that all Traditional Rules from Anambra North Senatorial Zone were aware of 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 youth to do so.
While 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 lack of mentoring and monitoring.
He thanked the Governor for everything he had been doing in Anambra State and encouraged Anambra youths to take the programme seriously in order to improve their lives.
Igwe Emeka also promised to take the message to the communities and the next Anambra North Traditional Rulers Council meeting.
The President General of Anambra State Association of Town Unions, Barr. Titus Akpudo described Anambra youth as tomorrow’s leaders and brighter future and thanked Governor Soludo and Mr Patrick Agha-Mba for the success of the Town Hall Meeting.
He stated that the Igbo people were God-blessed and hardworking people who could succeed on their own without the help of others, stating that the Igbo people had been given a special gift.
According to him, the Ministry of Youth was committed to developing these special gifts in thousands of youths, maintaining that when these thousands of youths are empowered and established, criminality in the state will decrease.