Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has urged youths in Enugu State to take training, skill acquisition and starting their small businesses seriously as it holds the great tomorrow they yearn for.

Ugwuanyi said this on Wednesday in Enugu at the Youths ICT AND Skill Acquisition Project (YISAP) Close Out Ceremony and Presentation of Cash Award to 34 Outstanding Performing ICT and Skill Acquisition Youths from Igboeze North Local Government Area.

The governor, represented by the state’s Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Mr Ugpnna Ibe, commended Coca-Cola Foundation and Baywood Foundation for making the training of 600 youths in the state on ICT and skill acquisition possible.

“You must have to start from somewhere small; while with commitment and diligence you grow like the big names we have in businesses in the country,” he said.

Ugwuanyi said that the state government had placed priority on youths’ empowerment and engagement in order to build a promising future for them and prepare them for future roles and leadership in all spheres of life.

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He, however, congratulated the trainees, urging them to remain focused and put all they had learnt to practical use and benefit.

Speaking, the Country Representative of Baywood Foundation, Mr Chukwudi Ojielo, urged the youths to make use of their android internet-enabled devices to create a market space to herald their skills and talents.

Ojielo said that under the YISAP project, which lasted for a year, 200 youths from three council areas within three senatorial zones were trained on various ICT and skills with digitalisation and internet knowledge to go with their new learning.

According to him, youths from Udi council area within Enugu West Senatorial Area, Enugu East council within Enugu East Senatorial Area and Igboeze North within Enugu North Senatorial area benefited from the three-month course duration training.

“Apart from the training and giving 33 outstanding performing trainees in each council area N45,000; we have equipped them to use their android phone as their big shop for packaging and selling their wares and talents.

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“So, through the training, we have succeeded in eliminating the need for physical shops and they can operate from their houses, any available space or as remote as their villages to reach any part of the state, country and world at large,” he said.

The coordinator said that the graduating trainees would be followed up and mentored by the foundation to ensure that they succeed and follow best practices of financial prudence.

He said that the challenges faced during the training included: issue of having competent visual sign interpreters, inflationary cost of training materials and stealing of all training items at Igboeze North council area especially a brand new training generator.

One of the graduating youths, Mrs Anthonia Ugwu, appreciated both foundations for adding value to her life and lives of youths within Enugu State.

Ugwu also called on beneficiaries of the project to utilise the skill they had learnt to double their influence and income in life as well as be employers of labour.

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They were trained on entrepreneurship/vocational skills such as ICT, photography, photo, video-editing, barbing, digital marketing, graphics design, confectionaries, making of household essentials, consumables, fascinators, hats and other small scale enterprises among others.

Highlights of the event were cutting of YISAP closure cake, award to best performing local government chairmen of Udi and Enugu East council areas, presentation of cash grants to outstanding youths trainees and group photograph of all youths participants at the project.

It would be recalled that Baywood Foundation, in early January, 2021 received a grant award of 98,925 dollars from the Coca-Cola Foundation to empower 600 youths in Enugu State through YISAP Project.

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