By Ese Obote-Ogwu
Delta Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, on Friday, charged beneficiaries of the state government Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurial Development Programmes to develop their businesses and shun the appetite of luxury especially at the beginning of their businesses.
Okowa gave the charge at the 2021 cycle graduation ceremony and distribution of business start-up packs to 786 beneficiaries of the Rural Youth Skills Acquisition (RYSA) programme of the state government held at the Events Centre, Asaba.
He urged beneficiaries of RYSA programme to continually plough the money that they would be making back into their respective businesses until they were able to grow to a very reasonable point.
According to him, graduands of the RYSA programme should develop and sustain an entrepreneurial spirit that would enable them to grow their businesses to a reputable height.
“As you begin to make money, plough the money back into your business continually, until you are able to grow to a very reasonable point before thinking of the luxuries of life,” the governor said.
He applauded the Ministry of Youth Development, particularly, the Commissioner for his sustained commitment and dedication that he has shown in trying to drive the process of the RYSA programme in a transparent manner.
“Yes, this is the second cycle of the programme, from the documentary that was shown, 776 graduated from the first cycle and today, we are graduating 786.
“And it is my hope that the Ministry of Youth Development will remain focused even after we have left office and continue to build a lot of our youths to realise who they are and to ensure that the entrepreneurial spirit within them, is brought out to the fore.
“I always feel very excited when I stand on this high platform and I look down there and I see Delta youths in a happy mood.
“It has become a very regular occurrence and everyday as I see several of our youths become entrepreneurs, I have very happy moments.
“There is great satisfaction in me today and I pray that this confidence that is reposed in you, that you will take the advantage and develop yourselves and grow without limits to the greatest heights of entrepreneurship.
“I have every confidence in myself from what I have heard here today, that the process of selection was basically on merit because all of you have learnt one form of trade or the other and all that was needed was to improve on your skills.
“And to also take you through the business school to enable you to have a total reflection within yourselves, that you are part of a community and that you can grow within the community and grow the community to be the best man or woman that you can be,” he said.
While urging the graduands to key into the cooperative society instituted by the pioneer beneficiaries of RYSA, the governor thanked the Directorate of Mentoring and Monitoring for the good jobs they do.
He reiterated the need for the beneficiaries to stay focused on your goals saying “if you do well, the successive governments will have no choice but to continue this programme”, even as he urged them not let the programme end with them.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Commissioner for Youth Development, Comrade Ifeanyi Egwunyenga said the 2021 cycle of RYSA trainees went through practical hands-on participatory training sessions for for 12-weeks designed to upscale mastery of their skills.
Egwunyenga disclosed that the trainees and trainers were constantly assessed by the Directorate of Youth Monitoring and Mentoring (DYMM) and the ministry’s assessment team to ensure that standards and procedures of the programme were strictly adhered to during the training period.
He pointed out that the Community Business School (CBS), an implant into the RYSA programme designed to imbibe in the trainees’ vital business and life skills, was geared towards developing their entrepreneurial drive, leadership capacity and the essence of community service.
“It is further aimed at enabling them to identify and take advantage of opportunities in digital marketing and business networking to support their business start-ups.
“As you pick up your start up packs today, I urge you to take a cue from the successful successors, work in synergy with each other, avoid unhealthy competition and remember the journey to enlarge your business is through financial discipline and consistency,” the Commissioner said.
Highlights of the ceremony were the presentation of award of excellence to Governor Okowa by the pioneer beneficiaries of RYSA and presentation of start-up packs to the 2021 cycle beneficiaries of the programme by the governor.