Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta on Wednesday said youths in the state were making a remarkable difference in the economic development of communities, state and country.
Okowa stated this at the flag-off of the second cycle of the Rural Youth Skill Acquisition (RYSA) programme held at the National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) Permanent Orientation Camp, Issele-Uku, Aniocha North Local Government Area of the state.
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Okowa said that RYSA second cycle, tagged “Making a Difference”, was imperative as Delta youths were poised to change the narrative about the youths in the country, and particularly the state.
He said that the selection of the 810 participants in the current cycle was predicated on the principle of geographical spread, with three youths emerging from each of the 270 electoral wards in the state.
“As you may be aware, RYSA is targeted specifically at young men and women in our rural communities with basic knowledge and skills in their preferred enterprises.
“Aside from the usual Starter Packs, what we do in RYSA is to improve their capacity to grow their businesses through a training regimen that equips them with life, social, and business management skills.
“Listening to the three beneficiaries of the programme, who spoke to us here, there will be good times and bad times but with commitment and prayer, you will find yourself a success story if you remain committed to that focus of being a success story in that programme.
“My joy is that years to come, I will meet some of you in different places to tell me that once upon a time you got support and advice from the government and you are now a success story and a household name in Delta and our nation Nigeria,” he said.
He urged the participants to be punctual, maintain strict observance of rules and regulations both at the camp and at their internship placements and displays a determination to excel, no matter the odds.
“Products of these programmes are so moved by the impact of the programmes on their lives; they are motivated to do same for others.
“Consistently, and without any prodding from the government, we have seen beneficiaries train others for free to reciprocate the kind gesture of the State Government in training and establishing them in their chosen businesses.
“It is a very positive development that I find very refreshing and encouraging. Aside from the multiplier effects of these initiatives on the economy of the state, I believe a new generation of responsible, sacrificial, compassionate, and serious-minded youths is emerging to change the narrative of entitlement mentality among our youths.
“Indeed, we are achieving our goal of producing leaders and managers that have high levels of personal responsibility and personal effectiveness.
“As we commence the second cycle of RYSA, it is my earnest expectation that the new inductees will surpass the performance of the first set and set new standards for those that will come after them.
“For that to happen, you must commit to diligence, excellence, innovation, and accountability. You have been presented with a golden opportunity to turn your fortunes around; you must not fritter it away.
“There will be challenges but perseverance is the key to success and always remember the saying that winners never quit, and quitters never win,” the governor stated.
Welcoming guests earlier, Commissioner for Youths Development, Comrade Ifeanyi Egwunyenga, had said that the core focus of the Stronger Delta agenda was entrepreneurship development, a means through which the government hoped to grow the local economy.
Egwunyenga said RYSA underscored the focus of the State Government in stimulating the local economy through grassroots development and urged participants to be disciplined and committed to the training as the state government had implicit confidence in their ability to utilise the opportunity to make it proud.
Some beneficiaries of the first RYSA Cycle, Yemisa Oghenejite from Uvwie, Okolo Perpetual, Ndokwa East and Omonukarin Abraham, Ethiope West, commended the state government for the initiative which had changed their stories from job-seekers to contractors and employers of labour.