Over a hundred thousand youths and some retired people turned up at the Heroes’ Square, Owerri for Governor Rochas Okorcha’s Youth Must Work programme, in which he hopes to offer jobs for about 15,000 young people.
The entire arena was filled with sea of heads, with spill-over on the Concorde Hotel Boulevard, as Governor Okorocha announced that his government would comb all Federal Government agencies as well as private firms with branches in the state to set out any job for Imo youths.
For instance, he said his team would move into all federal agencies located in the state, like the Army, Police, Immigration, Prisons, Customs, NAFDAC, SMEDAN, as well as banks and other private companies, to ask for jobs for Imo youths.
But he said he would rather the youths think and act more about entrepreneurship rather than looking for paid jobs.
For instance, he said he would want a situation where the youths of the state dream up projects like snail farming, piggery and gardening; or even engaging in things like cleaning up rich people’s compounds, and get paid.
He announced that the state government had set aside N5 billion to be disbursed to youths as non-interest yielding loans for them to engage in Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (SMEs).
The governor equally announced that the state government has entered into partnership with the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to float up to 1,000 jobs and asked the youths to brace up for that.
But he said the youths must be ready to work, and not to idle and lazy about waiting for fat paying jobs, adding that each youth must not employ dignity in labour, irrespective of the type of job that is offered to him/her.
He threatened that the government would set out to arrest any youth who sags his/her trousers/skirt, or any youth who is found loitering about town in an uncaring manner.
“If you are caught loitering about town or village, you would be arrested, because we would consider you an armed robber or a kidnapper,” stated Governor Okorocha.