Chinonye Achugbue, the chief executive officer, Macdiva Cosmetics, Asaba, Delta State, has said that she was among Deltans who strongly campaigned for Atiku/Okowa ticket in the recently held presidential election.
“My reason for carrying the campaign on my head was because I am someone that understood the importance of what our governor, Ifeanyi Okowa did for us in Delta State – the human capital and capacity building,” she said.
She made the disclosure at the Orienration and Personal Effectiveness Training (OPET)/ Entrepreneurship and Business Management Training (EBMT) workshop, organised by the Delta State Job and Wealth Creation Bureau recently, for the 514 beneficiaries enrolled into the 2022 cycle of the Skills Training and Entrepreneurship Programme (STEP).
The trainees have successfully completed hands-on training and proficiency test in six vocational skills such as Audio-Visual Services; Electrical Installation and Solar Works; Catering and Confectionery; PoP, Screed-Making and Painting; Hairdressing and Braiding, and Tiling and Interlocking. The next phase is for the bureau to hand-out starter packs to them to start running their enterprises.
Achugbue, a resource person at the event, was one of the beneficiaries of the 2019/2020 cycle of STEP and has since her graduation from the programme, established the cosmetic enterprise that now boasts of seven skin-care products.
She admonished them to reciprocate the state government’s gesture by being committed in their business enterprises and understand that they must not start large for them to believe they are running a business.
“When you lay a foundation, you progress by building upon it and correct yourself when you make a mistake,” she advised.
Achugbue, who also spoke on how she has been succeeding, said, “I am sharing my testimony to you because after my NYSC, I never believed I could be a business person. I hated business because of the understanding I had about it.”
She disclosed that the salary she was offered after a successful interview to work as Data Analyst in a company, was an amount she considered as impoverishment.
“I thank God today that I am a successful entrepreneur and also mentoring others on entrepreneurship.
“I am an entrepreneur because of His Excellency, Senator, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa who powered me through the job and wealth creation programme. Through this programme, I no longer think of working for someone and earning salary rather I own and run my own business. It’s better to endure pains now and build and become an employer,” she said.
She urged the trainees to be confident and build on the foundation already led.
“The governor has laid a foundation for us to discover ourselves and went ahead to empower us so that we can contribute to the economic growth of the state and nation.”
Governor Okowa was Atiku Abubakar’s running mate in the recently held presidential election but the party lost to Peter Obi of Labour Party in the state, though both parties are currently at the court with each trying to reclaim their mandate which they claimed was stolen, from Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared winner of the election.
Many PDP supporters and admirers of Okowa believed that with the magnitude of people-oriented projects executed by the Okowa administration as well as the job and wealth creation programme that has directly impacted the socio-economic lives of the youths and their families, massive votes were expected for Atiku/Okowa ticket just because of Okowa.
The job creation programme was designed in such a way that those who were trained by the state government would train others in the state. Under the programme, a total of 9154 directly benefitted through STEP, YAGEP and GEEP, thus, it was believed that there are thousands of other Deltans who have indirectly been impacted under the programme.
Besides, there are other entrepreneurship programmes empowering the girl-child, the youth in the rural areas and youths in information communications technology, as well as women and even widows.
The votes of these benefiaries alone and indeed of other Deltans who are the beneficiaries of the various physical infrastructures embarked upon and executed by the administration were believed to be enough to make PDP win just as the party won the governorship election and majority of the seats in the Delta House of Assembly.
In an exclusive interview with BusinessDay, Achugbue said, “If Okowa becomes the vice president of the country, he would replicate his vision of raising a generation of entrepreneurs across the states of Nigeria.
“Those who voted against PDP were looking at Atiku but my target was Okowa and for him to replicate what he has done in Delta State at the national level.
“If he wins and goes to the federal to replicate the same thing he did in our state, the various state governments in Nigeria will see the importance of empowering youths and we will not be crying so much of having graduates who do not have jobs.
“Our youths will understand that there is more to being an entrepreneur. Away from being a civil servant, away from being that Federal Government worker, away from building another man’s business when you can start up yours and build something that becomes an economic advancement to the nation.
“I’m happy that PDP was declared the winner of the governorship election just as I believed.”
She prayed that Sheriff Oborevwori, the incoming governor of Delta State and Monday Onyeme, his deputy, would not let the works of Governor Okowa to end with the tenure that would elapse May 29.
“I’m trusting that they will start from where the governor ends in human capital and capacity building and even do more and better because that is the hope that we Deltans have towards building an effective governnment,” she said.