No fewer than 200 beneficiaries of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) skills acquisition programme were on Thursday, empowered with full business start-up kits in Ekiti.
Speaking during the graduation oll in Ado-Ekiti, the UNDP’s Conflict Prevention and Peace building Programme Lead Team, Mr Mathew Alao, said the programme was in line with the Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDGs) principle of leaving no one behind.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the six months training was tagged, “UNDP Youth and Women, Victims of Violence and Crises in Ekiti.”
Alao said the beneficiaries were selected through a rigorous screening exercise devoid of political influence.
The UNDP lead team added that the selected beneficiaries were under the supervision of the Board for Technical and Vocational Education (BTVE), Ado-Ekiti throughout their six months skill acquisition in 11 trades.
He highlighted the skills and their beneficiaries to include, welding and fabrication (8), tailoring (57), catering and decoration (33), hair dressing (20) and leather production (27).
Other were, Plumbing and pipe fittings (8), tiling (8), computer and GSM repair (17), POP, screeding and painting (8), barbing (9) and electrical installation (5).
He, therefore, admonished the beneficiaries of the full equipment for start-up kits to ensure that they used the items for the purpose of which they are meant for.
“I admonish the beneficiaries to ensure the judicious use of these start up packs, which can not be less than N250,000 each for the benefit of themselves, their families, communities and Nigeria at large.
“I am persuaded to express that with the quality of training and discipline that have been impacted into these graduates and the quality of the start-up packs that were procured for them to establish small scale businesses, poverty is no longer their neighbour,”Alao said.
He, however, disclosed that the scheme which was part of the UNDP’s Peace Prevention and building Programme is funded by the Government of Norway and UNDP in collaboration with Ekiti State through its BTVE
The Chairman, Ekiti BTVE, Mr Kayode Babade, expressed gratitude to the sponsors of the programme for counting Ekiti worthy of benefitting and commended the State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi for providing the enabling environment for the programme to strive.
He described the programme as laudable, while he congratulated the graduands.
The BTVE chairman said, “this training programme in no small way reduce unemployment in the state and take the benefitting youths out of the streets as they will be able to set their own trade and be an employers of labour.”
He, however, sternly warmed beneficiaries not to divert the equipment, threatening that whoever, does will have case to answer.
Speaking in appreciation, the benefiaries, Mr Yahaya Mohammed a trainee of POP, painting and Screeding and Miss Kehinde Arisoyin, graduate trainee of Leather work thanked the sponsors for the opportunity.
They promised that the equipment would be used for the purpose they are meant in order for them to contribute their own quota to the development of the nation’s economy.
The highpoint of the event was the distribution of the starter packs to the beneficiaries.
There were good will messages from dignitaries including, Chief Gboyega Aribisogan, the Majority Leader of Ekiti House of Assembly, Ekiti Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Mr Femi Ajayi and the Executive Secretary of Ekiti BTVE, Mr Abiodun Oguntunji among others