9 months ago

BusinessDay 08 Apr 2018

C002D5556 Sunday

C002D5556 Sunday 08 April 2018 8 BDSUNDAY News Why electorate cannot trust Makinde with their votes, by Oyo APC Kwara police recovers 46 surrendered firearms, three human skulls SIKIRAT SHEHU, Ilorin Akinremi Feyisipo, Ibadan The All Progressives Congress in Oyo State has advised a gubernatorial aspirant of the People’s Democratic Party, Seyi Makinde, to forget his ambition to be governor any time soon, saying that “the task of governing a state like Oyo cannot be entrusted on any feeble mind again.” The broom party in the state said never again would the electorate allow a repeat of 2003 when a rebuilding process that had successfully begun by the late Lamidi Adesina was allowed to be truncated by a group of impostors who should have no business in government. The APC in a statement by its State Publicity Secretary, Olawale Sadare, stated “we are not unmindful of the fact the likes of Makinde would always believe that the best way to get to the Agodi Government House in 2019 was to downplay the monumental achievements of the present APC administration of Abiola Ajimobi who has undoubtedly change the face of governance in the state. WHO marks 70th anniversary with focus on universal health coverage Lanatu Joy Shelton The World Health Organisation (WHO) yesterday marked its day with the theme ‘Universal Health Coverage’ (UHC). It was the 70th anniversary of WHO and the celebration emphasised Health For All. WHO used the occasion to call on world leaders to live up to the pledges they made when they agreed on the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, and commit to concrete steps to advance the health of all people. This means ensuring that everyone, everywhere can access essential quality health services without facing financial hardship. The meaning of UHC is that all people and communities receive the health services they need without suffering financial hardship. It enables everyone to access the services that address the most important causes of disease and death and ensures that the quality of those services is good enough to improve the health of the people who receive them. Whereas it does not mean free coverage for all possible health interventions regardless of the cost as no country can provide all services free of charge on a sustainable basis, it is not only about ensuring a minimum package of health services but also about ensuring a progressive expansion of coverage of health services and financial protection as more resources become available. Makinde “But the truth remains that the shoe that Ajimobi would leave behind in May 2019 after completing his two term in office would be too large for anyone who does not rank among the best like we have in the army of gubernatorial aspirants available to the APC at from the right source due to overambition, the sponsor of a faction of the decimated PDP in the state is not, in anyway, qualified to seek a mandate that is far bigger than his capability. Makinde should have been informed by his handlers that the best way to start was not blind criticisms of a performing government,” the party said. “Apart from a deep pocket which he has not been able to improve since the sacking of the corrupt and inept Goodluck Jonathan administration in 2015, Makinde cannot convince the world that he possesses the wherewithal to build on the solid foundation being laid for Oyo State by the enigmatic Sen. Ajimobi and this is the bane of his ambition to contest and win any election. “Lastly, we acknowledge the fact that Mr. Makinde still contribute his quota to the nation and the best way to do this is for him to partner resource persons within and outside the state in the areas of human capital development, entrepreneurship and floating of a non-governmental organisation which will cater for the lessprivileged in the society,” APC further said. Skills acquisition panacea to unemployment - Ogurinde Ngozi Okpalakunne Omowale Ogunrinde, founder of Field of Skills & Dreams Vocational & Entrepreneurship Technical Institute, has said that skills acquisition was the way out of the unemployment crisis in Nigeria. Speaking with BDSUNDAY in Lagos, Ogunrinde said: “There are jobs out there, but no skilled people to take up such jobs, and so when you hear someone say he does not have a job it means that such individual does not have the skills the employer is looking for.” “Since the inception of our institute, we have been able to train thousands of people across the country with the collaboration of corporate organisations both local and international,” Ogunrinde said, adding: “Recently, we collaborated with NAGODE Industries to train some young men and women on skills which include, fashion designing, catering, hairdressing, electrical engineering among others. After six weeks of intensive training, they were also given interest-free loan by the same organisation to start off their own businesses and they are all doing well now.” “We do not train them and the moment. This had informed the submission of many political pundits who are of the opinion that the 2019 governorship poll will be fought and won within the APC. “Having lost the golden chance to acquire the ideal political and public administration tutelage leave them like that; we monitor them and ensure they are well established in their chosen field,” she further said. Recalling some of the success stories, she said the Institute has recorded 85 percent of success as most of the people they trained are not only doing well in their areas of specialisation, but also training others on different skills. “They are yet to make millions of naira, but they are no longer begging to eat or asking someone to help and pay their children’s school fees. “Some of the people we train in Ogunrinde the institute are street boys and girls, while some were repatriated from Libya and Italy, some are prostitutes and we have succeeded in training thousands of them and ensured their economic empowerment through hands-on training programmes with financial assistance from corporate bodies and well meaning Nigerians,” she explained. Ogunrinde appealed to other corporate organisations in the country to partner with them so that the lives of unemployed young men and women roaming the streets would be transformed through skills acquisition. “Corporate social responsibility should be measurable, we do not need only foreigners to collaborate with us in the training, Nigerians who have the capability should help. It is just few young women that will want to walk on the streets as prostitutes. If they had a choice, they will not sell their body because of money. I am not giving credence to prostitution. “We need to think hard and deep, some people are working where they receive NI5.000 monthly, and l begin to wonder what they can do with such little amount of money, but when they are empowered with skills, they can become employer of others or a highly valued skilled employee.” The Kwara State police command on Thursday displayed 46 firms among which were 32 single barrel guns voluntarily surrendered by members of the public. This followed the expiration of 21 days ultimatum and extension given to the members of the public in possession of illegal firearms to surrender to the police. It also paraded a 32-year-old man, Suleiman Ajenifuja for unlawful possession of three human skulls, which he transported from Lagos to Ilorin for ritual purposes. Other fire arms recovered, according to Lawan Ado, the state commissioner of police, included, four locally made cut-to-size single barrel riffles, seven locally made single barrel, one locally made double barrel pistol, one AK-47 rifle and one English made pistol in its ongoing mop up operation. The Commissioner of Police made the disclosure in Ilorin while briefing journalists at the state police headquarters and further said the command would begin clamp down on those who were still in possession of illegal arms following the expiration of ultimatum for the mop up exercise. While parading 32 years old Ajenifuja arrested for unlawful possession of three human skulls, Ado said the suspect was arrested when police operatives intercepted a commercial vehicle conveying seven passengers including the suspect from Lagos to Ilorin. “When a searched was conducted, three skulls wrapped in a sack were recovered from a black bag belonging to one of the passengers Suleiman Ajenifuja who admitted being the owner of the exhibit and claimed to be bringing them to Ilorin from Lagos for ritual purposes’’, Ado said. He also announced that the directive of the Inspector General of Police on the withdrawal of police men attached to very important personalities was still in force. He however announced April 20, 2018 deadline for persons, government agencies and corporate organisations that required the services of the police men attached to them to re-apply for revalidation. The CP said the measure adopted by the police would free more personnel for the force task of policing and carry out election duties ahead of 2019 general elections. ‘‘We wish to also inform members of the public of the extension of the date of withdrawal of all police personnel attached to VIPs, government officials, corporate organisations, political office holders has been extended to April 20,2018 to enable the affected officials to reapply for revalidation of through commissioner of police, Kwara Sate for IGP’s approval’’. ‘‘Not everybody that applies for revalidation would be considered, election is coming and we need more manpower.

Sunday 08 April 2018 C002D5556 9 Feature How 3 square meals a day in Delta Orientation Camp lured jobless youth off a planned crime …Now a successful entrepreneur in fish production MERCY ENOCH, Asaba Thousands of youths in Delta State are now taking the business option rather than crime, thus turning into successful entrepreneurs, courtesy of the Job and Wealth Creation Scheme under the SMART agenda of the incumbent Governor Ifeanyi Okowa administration in the oil-rich state. For three consecutive years now, a total of 3,277 youths including graduates of tertiary institutions have benefitted from the scheme. Out of this figure, 2,324 were trained and established in the last two years while 953 are currently undergoing training and would be established to start up their own enterprises few months to come. The beneficiaries otherwise known as STEPrenuers and YAGEPrenuers, often excited by the gesture extended to them, do not waste time to tell their stories to anyone who cares to hear. Terry Ogolor, a graduate of Biology/Chemistry from College of Education, Agbor, who hails from the Udu Local Government Area of the state, revealed more in this interview. He said: “I thank God that through the SMART agenda of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa my life has been transformed and I have been liberated from being a job seeker to an entrepreneur. Upon graduation from the College of Education in 2009, I was unemployed till I enrolled into the state government’s Youth Agricultural Entrepreneurs Programme (YAGEP).” “Initially, I taught in a private school, but discovered that the N10,000 that I was being paid was nothing to write home about. Thereafter, I started hustling on the streets, but the street was not friendly. One day, a friend informed me about job creation form. Though I applied, I was not shortlisted. The second time, I reluctantly applied; I thought it was a scam, one of those government programmes. To my greatest surprise, I was invited to attend the interview after which I did not hear from Job Creation Office for a while. I became frustrated and concluded it was a sham and gave up,” he said. Ogolor narrated that on the streets, to feed was a problem. “So, my friends and I decided to go into crime to survive. We planned towards executing a crime. While we were planning, the list was published and those who saw my name informed me that I was invited to Orientation Camp at Delta Songhai, Amukpe in Sapele Local Government Area”. Life in the camp led to a complete turnaround in his life. “At the camp, I had three square meals daily throughout the one week we stayed. For the first time in my life, it was unbelievable. I could have three meals every day. After three days at the camp, my friends called and told me it was time to execute our plans for the crime, but I called it off, telling them I had travelled. I was no longer interested in crime because I was comfortable with life at the orientation camp. In fact, I had a rethink and decided to get serious with my life after the Orientation and Personal Effectiveness Training (OPET),” he said. “Thereafter, I had a three-month internship where I became well-grounded in fish production. My trainer was good. Shortly after that, I was given 2000 juveniles, 150 bags of fish feed, a monthly stipend of N15,000 for six months, two earthen ponds and other items. My assessment of my starter pack excluding the ponds was over a million naira. Terry Ogolor in his fish farm I was shocked and I began to shed tears. I then pledged that I am indebted to the state government and that the only way I could pay back is to ensure that I succeeded in my enterprise,” he further said. According to him, “Apart from fish farming, I am into transportation too. I was able to use part of the proceeds from my fish farm after harvest to buy a tricycle (keke.) My colleagues at the farm now hire me to transport their feeds for them from the point of purchase to the cluster. Also, I use the keke to supply feeds to various farms on behalf of feed sellers and I am well paid. My daily routine is work at the farm in the morning, resume transportation and return to the farm by 5pm. I recently rejected a N75,000.00 job to work as a scaffolder in Port Harcourt.” He expressed his feeling: “Today, I am a happy fish farm owner at YAGEP Fish Farm Cluster, Ugbokodo Okpe. I can fend for myself, family and friends because of what Governor Ifeanyi Okowa did for me. I am a consultant by experience. I help those with challenges in their fish farms and the pay is encouraging. I have grown my fish from 2,000 to over 4,000. The sky is my limit! Recently, I took my son to a hospital and in the course of billing me, I discussed with the doctor and found out he is interested in fish farming when I told him my occupation. As I am talking to you, I am setting up his fish farm and the pay is good. Thanks to the vision of His Excellency, the governor of Delta State, for making me a consultant to a doctor and many others in fish production.” While inaugurating the job and wealth creation programme at inception in office three years ago, Okowa had said that the scheme “is the bedrock of the SMART agenda with Skills and Enterpreneurship Programme (STEP) and Youth Agricultural Entrepreneurs Programme (YAGEP) as the flagship programmes.” “Other programmes under job and wealth creation scheme are Production and Processing Support Programme (PPSP), Development of Agro-Industries, and Extension of Micro-Credit. All the programmes have been strategically designed, stringently planned and specifically tailored to tackle the problem of youth unemployment and produce lasting and sustainable prosperity across board”, he explained. He disclosed that “Our strategy for making this a reality is through focused and concentrated efforts to stimulate the growth and development of Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs)”. He added that while multi-national companies and big corporations get all the public attention and acclaim for their capacity to reduce foreign investment capital, MSMEs remain the backbone for economic growth and social development in any society. “By definition, MSMEs are companies that employ less than 250 persons and available statistics indicate that 97 percent of all businesses in Nigeria employ less than 100 persons. Meanwhile, they account for about 50 percent of Nigeria’s productive workforce and 46.5 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The story is not different in other parts of the world. There are approximately 23 million small businesses in the USA and they employ more than 50 percent of the private workforce and generate more than half of the nation’s GDP. Similarly, MSMEs account for 99.8 percent of all companies and 65 percent of business turnover in the European Union.” He said his administration, for that reason, was very passionate, deliberate, and focused in the quest to formulate tangible and lasting policies and/or programmes to support the small business sector. The overarching goal of the job and wealth creation scheme, he said, is to equip participants with the technical know-how, vocational/technical skills, values and resources to become self-employed and employers of labour.” “I am aware that there have been similar interventions in the history of our state. Unfortunately, these interventions did not deliver on their promises and, therefore, failed to meet the yearnings and aspirations of our people. Not surprisingly, some people have wondered if we are not just reinventing the wheel or going through the same motions without movement. My answer to that is a resounding NO! We carried out a thorough post mortem of past initiatives in this regard and designed the Job and Wealth Creation Scheme to avoid their shortcomings”, Okowa declared. Ogolor’s testimony and those of other beneficiaries seem to give credence to the governor’s statements. What stands the scheme out are the free meals at orientation camps, transport allowances during the trainings, complete starter packs comprising basic tools needed for successful business start up and stipend for three months on establishment of enterprise. Besides, the monitoring and mentoring aspect is said to be superb. The Chief Job Creation Officer, a professor, Eric Eboh, said the essence of emphasising on the completeness and integrity of starter packs was to avoid pitfalls of similar empowerment programmes characterised by incomplete enterprise start-up packages delivered in piecemeal manner. Eboh disclosed that the implementation strategy of co-locating YAGEP beneficiaries in farm clusters, organising them into cooperative societies and progressing them as participants in the Central Bank of Nigeria – Ministry of Agriculture Anchor Borrowers Programme were vital building blocks of sustainability.

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