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2ND PHASE OF IMO YOUTHS EMPOWERMENT: AN ADDRESS PRESENTED BY HON. NOBLE A. ATULEGWU

Your Excellency, The Executive Governor of Imo State,

Your Excellency, The Deputy Governor of Imo State,

The Speaker, Imo State House of Assembly,

The Chief Judge of Imo State,

Distinguished Hon. Commissioners and Members of the State Expanded Exco,

Our Respected Traditional Rulers, Ndi Eze,

Members of the Press,

Our Valued Participants,

Ladies and Gentlemen.

I sincerely welcome all of us assembled here today under the auspices and guardianship of the Holy Spirit to witness another historic milestone of the 2nd phase of the empowerment programme for unemployed Imo youths as packaged by our Ministry through the responsive and dynamic administration of our performing Governor, His Excellency, Distinguished Senator Hope Odidika Uzodimma (Onwa Oyoko).

The present Government under the leadership of our able Governor has deemed it necessary to continue to package this programme and many more for our teeming unemployed youths in order to decimate if not eradicate the tethering unemployment problem bedeviling our youths today.

The unemployment problem with its attendant social consequences has remained a major threat to personal and national development. Unemployment, which is most common among youths, expecially school leavers, is mainly due to lack of entrepreneurial skills and attitudes.

Our esteemed audience, while there is nothing wrong about securing a paid employment, if one can, there is everything wrong about remaining unemployed and idle. With the right attitude, careful planning and hard work, one may turn out to be a proud employer of oneself and possibly others. Hornby (2006) defined an entrepreneur as a person who makes money by starting or running businesses, expecially when this involves taking financial risks. Entrepreneures are characterized by the need to be independent, to create value, to contribute to family or society, to become rich, and largely detest idleness and being unproductive. Potential entrepreneures therefore display such traits as initiative and ambition, foresight, have business sense and are decisive.

We must therefore commend our youths friendly Governor, Onwa Oyoko for his foresight and strong disposition in alleviating the unemployment problems in the State through the creation of avenues for empowering our youths to be self-sufficient. Few months ago, he opened some financial windows for the youths to be engaged in meaningful trade through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Nigeria Inventive Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL). Just very soon those who were opportune in that exercise will have a sigh of relief.

For those of you gathered here today, this is time for you to shine as you have also been considered.

Our great audience! We are committed to ensuring that our unemployed youths will become self-employed, and that is where the honour lies. The 2nd phase of this programme means that more than Two thousand of our jobless youths will come out of the training equipped with very important techniques and Skills capable of transforming the lot of the larger society by being self-employed and employers of labour. This therefore means boosting the internal revenue generation of the State, thereby reducing inflation.

We therefore urge you to pay attention to a the details of the training as well as be law abiding not just here but in the larger society.

Once more, I welcome all to this epoch making occasion, while thanking the State Governor and all for your disposition to our invitation.

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