June 29, (Blank NEWS Online) –
In this concise interview with Delta state Deputy Governor, Barrister Kingsley Otuaro, Blank NEWS Online unveils the determination of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s administration to give prominence to youth development in agriculture in the oil rich state.
Question: Your Excellency sir, the Youth Agricultural Entrepreneurs Programme (YAGEP) was inaugurated today in Government House with Traditional Rulers as major stakeholders. Why did you decide to include Traditional Rulers in driving this process?
Answer: Thank you very much and welcome. First and foremost, we have promised Deltans that we are determined and poised of delivering prosperity to all of them. This, of course is encapsulated in our SMART agenda and one component act of the SMART programme sticks to the effect that we would create wealth and provide job opportunities for all Deltans, with particular reference to our teeming, unemployed youths and that is the purport of the meeting we just had.
The place of the traditional institution, as a government, cannot be overemphasised. We feel very strongly that we need to partner with our traditional institution to help us drive this process because they are custodians of our land and heritage and culture. They know the unemployed youths in their domain. We don’t want to get it wrong and as such, we consider them as a very necessary part of the programme. So that is the context of the meeting we just had.
Question: It is a good thing you brought in the traditional rulers as key stakeholders in this programme but politicians also know their subjects and wield much influence. What measures have you put in place to ensure that politicians do not hijack this laudable programme?
Answer: We have put some measures in place and one of the major safety valves or measures we have put in place, is to ensure that all of the forms that would be given out to Deltans for this particular programme, passes through the traditional rulers to the consultants who are detailed to ascertain their preparedness for this programme because we don’t want to get unprepared, unenthusiastic youths to be part of this programme. We want to ensure we maximise every one kobo government is putting into this programme. That is one major safety valve and measures to ensuring that we don’t proliferate and mess up the expectant result of the programme.
Question: Your Excellency, we understand this is the first batch of the programme. How soon is the kick-off and when are expecting the second batch?
Answer: Yes. This actually is the first batch and when we are done with the whole process as it were, training them at Songhai Farms, getting them for internship in farm settlements as required and starting them with the starter packs. And the consultants would monitor and give us feed-back as to the successes we have recorded and that will prompt us to embark immediately on the second phase of the programme.
Question: Finally sir, what is your advice to Deltans, especially women and youths about this programme and how you intend to create wealth for them?
Answer: My advice to Deltans with particular reference at this time to the youth population, which of course, is our primary target, is to take this project or programme very seriously because as a government, we are poised, we are determined.
It is not going to be one of those wish washy programmes that at the end would not achieve the set goals or objectives. That is the primary reason why we have brought in the traditional institution to be part of this process.
I want to tell everyone in Delta state, especially the youth population as it were to take it seriously and ensure that they reach out to their traditional rulers and obtain their forms and be part of the screening process and government is very bent on assuring that we would do our very part and that surely is the way to go.
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