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Why Delta govt won’t build cottage industries to absorb established youths

Delta State Government has asserted that its focus is not to build cottage industries where the beneficiaries of its job and wealth creation programme could work and earn a living.

The state commissioner for information, Charles Aniagwu who made the assertion, in Asaba, said that the job and wealth creation beneficiaries are trained and empowered to be entrepreneurs and experts who run and own their own businesses. They are not expected to be job seekers at the end of the day, he explained.

Aniagwu was responding to questions thrown at him by newspeople during a post-exco briefing held in Asaba, as he was asked to address the concern raised by the youth of the state vis-a-viz provision of cottage industries.

During a recent summit organised by the Federal Orientation Agency in collaboration with other federal agencies in Delta State, the youths present at the occasion had applauded the state governor, Ifeanyi Okowa for the job and wealth creation programme but urged him to build cottage industries to absorb the programme’s beneficiaries.

Aniagwu told the newsmen, “We (the Delta State Government) are not just training people in theory; we are creating entrepreneurs. We are training them to become business owners themselves.”

He wondered why the state government should be expected to build Cottage Industries to employ the youths after such training and empowerment programme.

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He noted that it had been established over time, that government is not in business when it comes to running a business. So, we are training those who are going to become experts in running their own businesses and employing others, he stressed.

Continuing, he observed that, “Majority of these persons have been able to now own their businesses and are running and training more people. These individuals, some of them have already established these cottage industries you’re talking about, by way of opening up very large conglomerates.

“I know some of them who are into fashion and design, who have trained so many others, and when you go to their shops today, you marvel. There are also those who are into make-up and many other skills. This is our desire.

“Look at the name such as the Skills Entrepreneurship Training Programme (STEP), the Rural Youth Skills Acquisition (RYSA); it means that the skill acquired will now give him/her starter packs to own Cottage industry that is owned by that individual.

“If you now think that after training people and establishing them, we are going to have people that would be going about to write “I beg to apply”, I say No. That’s not what we are doing.
If we are to do that, that would be for those who had gone to school but don’t even have some of these skills.

They (the beneficiaries) have been empowered to own their own and you now ask them to begin to go to earn salaries. How much are you going to pay them? Aniagwu queried.

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