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Perspectives On Okowa’s Job And Wealth Creation Model 



Perspectives On Okowa's Job And Wealth Creation Model 

By Barth Ozah

In the last one decade or more Delta state has remained peaceful and progressing steadily in all ramifications. The progression did not come by chance but obviously a result of clear cut strategies by successive governors in the state.

With Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan’s three-point agenda of peace and security, human capital development and infrastructure development to Senator Ifeanyi Okowa’s SMART documents which subsequently birth MORE agenda of Rt. Hon Sherrif Oborevwore, peace and security have remained the cardinal thrust.

This is not in anyway suggests that Deltans are free from crises being faced by Nigerians. From the conundrum of insecurity to the economic crisis it affect the state. Despite that the state has sustained its economic indexes progressively.

One major objective which has sustained the feat was the Job and Wealth Creation Bureau, an initiative of the immediate past governor Ifeanyi Okowa. It was one programme which has made significant impacts on the lives of Deltans, especially the youths.

Recalled that on assumption of office in 2015, governor Ifeanyi Okowa sent an executive bill for the creation of the Delta State Job and Wealth Creation Bureau. To develop the non-oil sector by promoting small scale businesses for youths which will ensure sustainable development and shared prosperity for all Deltans.

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To train, equip, establish and mentor unemployed youths, graduates and school leavers, with the right mindset, practice-oriented skills, entrepreneurial abilities and resources to become self-employed business owners. Training and establishment of youths in four (4) agricultural enterprises including poultry, piggery, fishery and vegetable production.

Structured under five programmes – Skills Training and Entrepreneurship Programme, STEP; Youth Agricultural Entrepreneurs Programme, YAGEP; Rural Youth Skills Acquisition Programme, RYSA; Girl Entrepreneurship and Skills Training Programme, GEST; and Information and Communications Technology-Youth Empowerment Programme, ICT-YEP; several programmes of skills acquisition, entrepreneurship development, microcredit, enterprise grants and business support have been successfully implemented

With over 250,000 direct jobs created, the programme has significantly built the youths in the state on part of self reliance. It’s however pertinent to adopt this strategy in an attempt to navigate this quagmire we found ourselves occasioned by fuel subsidy removal and floating of naira in the country which has resulted in extreme hardship.

Two policies that were not clearly thought out before implementation. A government which hurriedly removed fuel subsidy targeting only the accrued revenue benefits without providing commensurate alternatives to the citizens. As if that was not enough, it went on to float it currency hence allowing the forces of demand and supply to determine it value.

Today Nigeria is in dire straits. Inflation increasing on daily basis. Insecurity is nothing to write home about. The government appears helpless. What is worrisome is the government lack of humility to seek help.

However one sure way of managing the effect of the ignoble twin policies of fuel subsidy removal and floating of naira by the APC led federal government is massive investment on Delta state model of job creation.

Professor Eric Eboh, the immediate past Chief Job and Wealth Creation Officer while unveiling the Masterplan of Delta State Job and Wealth Creation Bureau which he noted encompassed the vision, mission and strategic goals of the Bureau. “It sets the roadmap and signposts by defining key success drivers, critical performance criteria and indicators for measuring and tracking outcomes.

“Also, it lays out the pillars of sustainability into the future. The overall aim is to maximise successes already achieved and enhance sustainability of impacts.

“The vision of Delta State Job and Wealth Creation Bureau is to be a model youth empowerment agency for job and wealth creation.

“By this vision, DS-JWCB aspires for Delta State, a society where youth unemployment and underemployment are at the barest minimum.”

It is therefore important to reinvigorate the office of the Delta State Job and Wealth Creation Bureau with an appointment of a new Chief Job Creation Officer for the state with resources deployed to the office.

Given the social-economic challenges confronting the citizens of the country now a programme such as Delta State Job Creation Model might nust be a springboard to unfolding the MORE agenda.

Barth, is a journalist and currently the councillor representing ward 7, in Ndokwa West LGA. 


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