A non-political organisation, Odinma Ikeduru Forum (OIF) says it is empowering some youths in the community with skills, soft loans and grants to the tune of over N3 million.
The President of the forum, Elder Davis Ihentuge stated this at the opening ceremony of the Skills Acquisition Training and Empowerment programme held at Atta in Ikeduru Local Government Area of Imo on Wednesday in Owerri.
He said the programme was to actualise the forum’s blueprint on “Household Quick-Yield Farming and Empowerment as a Sustainable Alternative to COVID-19 Palliatives” seminar held on July 16, 2020 in the area.
He said that to sustain the project, the forum was collaborating with 50- year old Davis Comprehensive Secondary and Vocational School, Atta-Ikeduru which has the necessary infrastructure, facilities and accreditation on ground.
Ihentuge said the skills acquisition courses are in agriculture, ICT, building construction and home management adding that additional trades would be added as the need arises.
Mr Chris Akaraonye, Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists, Imo Council and Chaiman of the occasion commended the Odinma Ikeduru for their effort in empowering the youths in Ikeduru.
Chief Akaraonye who is an illustrious son of the area commended Major Gen. Collins Ihekaire (rtd) Chairman/Board of Trustees “Paths to Follow” a non-governmental organisation and Dr Goddy Edoziem an Educationist for their financial support to the programme and called on other sons and daughters of Ikeduru to join hands with the Forum to actualise their goal.
Speaking, Major Gen. Ihekaire (rtd) said the empowerment was to build capacity and empower the youths to give them dignity and make them self-reliant in life.
He said that each of the 20 trainees would be empowered with the sum of between N100,000 and N150,000 depending on what they would engage on, while the trainers would be paid accordingly. He advised the beneficiaries to take the programme seriously to encourage the sponsors. Ihekaire said the gesture would bring the youths out of poverty saying that there is a relationship between poverty and crime.
Mr Jerry Opara, Head of Organisation and Management of Odinma Ikeduru Skills Acquisition Training for Empowerment of Ikeduru Youths said the training was to improve the lives of Ikeduru youths to avoid them being involved in crimes.
He said all the trainees would undergo some mandatory basic courses such as business communication skill, record-keeping, law of contract, marketing and relevant safety rules.
A traditional ruler, Eze Geoffrey Anika, the Eze Umunnawuike 11 of Atta Ancient Kingdom said the project would help take away advanced fee fraud and other societal ills from the youths.
He called on other well-meaning Ikeduru persons to join hands to better the communities in the LGA.