40 Physically Challenged Persons, 188 others got N.3m Empowerment Package from Federal Government

40 physically challenged persons, 188 youths and women from the Niger Delta region have received N300,000 each, as empowerment package from the Federal Government at the graduation ceremonies organised by the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs for trainees in Edo, Delta and Akwa Ibom States, on Friday.

104 youths and women trained on fishery and poultry farming graduated in Benin-City, Edo State, 84 trainees graduated in Asaba, Delta State, while 40 physically challenged persons, trained on bead-making, embroidery confectionery and entrepreneurship, had their graduation ceremony at Amayam Clan, Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom state respectively.

The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani, represented by Mr. Philip Ndiomu, a Deputy Director in the Economic Empowerment Department of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, at the Benin City event told the trainees to put the knowledge gained to good use.

Usani said that the training programmes were aimed at equipping participants with practical and theoretical knowledge on poultry and fishery production as well as other business management skills that would make their individual businesses grow.

The Minister advised them to put the N300,000.00 (Three Hundred Thousand Naira) starter pack they received to good use, to the extent that they would also empower others to start their own businesses.

Usani enjoined them to patiently grow their businesses as immediate success or profit was not guaranteed.

The Minister revealed that the training and empowerment programme was continuous and assured those clamouring for inclusion that they would be considered in subsequent ones.

He added that the programme would not be stopped now as it was the dream of government to see that youths and women of the Niger Delta region became self-reliant and self- sustaining.

In his remarks, Senator Mathew Urhoghide of Edo South Senatorial District, thanked the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs for partnering Edo state and other stakeholders on the project as he advised participants at the programme ‘to utilize the opportunity to better their lots in life’ as it might never come to them again.

The Senator stressed that the programme was very important to the Federal Government as it was keen on attending to the yearnings of youths and women of the Niger Delta region.

He urged the trainees to be strategic on the businesses they do with their starter packs.

Similarly, Senator Sam Anyanwu of Imo state who was also at the graduation ceremony in Benin-City, advised the trainees to make the best use of the knowledge acquired and the starter packs.

One of the trainees and physically challenged beneficiary from the Akwa Ibom State event Prince Akaninyene Isidore noted: "Before now, persons with disabilities were insignificant in the society as far as charity is concerned, but we are grateful to President Muhammadu Buhari for developing people with disabilities through the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs."

Stephen Kilebi,
Deputy Director,
Press and Public Relations,
18th May 2019

Federal Government Inaugurates Cassava Processing Plant, 7-Unit Houses in Akwa Ibom

The Federal Government has inaugurated a Cassava Processing Plant and a-7 Unit of Staff Quarters in Akwa Ibom State, in continuation of its on-going tour and commissioning of completed projects of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs in the Niger Delta region.

While inaugurating the Cassava Processing plant at Afi Uda Community, Mbo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom state on Monday, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani said: "The mission of the Ministry is to promote sustainable development, peace and economic prosperity in the Niger Delta region, which can only be achieved with promotion of an enabling environment for industrialization, by adding value to agricultural commodities, enhancing the capacities of farmers, generation of employment, increase farmers' income and sustainable food security in the region."

"Nigeria is currently the highest producer of Cassava in the world, the huge cassava production in the country may be wasted if not properly processed and utilised for economic prosperity. The establishment of Cassava Processing plant in Afi Uda community will add value to the Cassava production in Akwa Ibom state," the Minister reiterated.

Pastor Usani noted that the choice of Afi Uda community for the modern Cassava processing plant was in recognition of the people's agrarian nature and the need to ensure that cassava was hygienically processed for both local and export consumptions.

He enjoined the community to ensure effective use and maintenance of the facility.

The cassava processing plant at Afi Uda community has added to the number of such plants that were completed and handed over to various communities in the Niger Delta region by the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.

Others are:

i. Cassava Processing plant at Gbarantoru Ekpetiama-Epie community, Bayelsa State,

ii. Cassava Processing plant at Igbotako community, Ondo State,

iii. Cassava Processing plant at Bah Lueku Nyokalena community, Rivers State,

iv. Cassava Processing plant at Isiaku Afara-Ukwu community, Abia State,

v. Cassava Processing plant at Wanakom Cross River State,

vi. Cassava Processing plant at Ngor Okpala, Okwekenta community, Imo State and;

vii. Cassava Processing plant at Mbutu Mbaise, Imo State.

The Minister stressed that the need to empower people economically necessitated the concept of establishing modern cassava processing plant cottage industries in the Niger Delta region.

Earlier, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Aliyu Aminu Bisalla, represented by the Director Community Development and Education, Mrs. Lauren Braide said the project would add value to the people of the community and make them more economically viable.

In his remarks, the Village Head, Afi Uda community, His Royal Highness, Ovong Clement Edet Ekuwem noted: "Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs is the first Federal Ministry to come to the aid of Afi Uda community with an empowerment project, the Minister and the Ministry have given Afi Uda a sense of being part of Nigeria."

His highness appealed to the Federal Government to help the community to construct a 5km road to link Afi Uda with neighbouring communities to enable them benefit from the laudable project. In a related development, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani, while commissioning a 7-unit Staff Quarters at the Community Secondary School, Ikot Uko, Odoro Ikot, Essien Udim Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom state, disclosed that the intention of the Ministry was in line with the present administration's vision to revive every sector of the society, including education.

He added that the housing units would address the housing deficit faced by the staff of the school in the past and enhance punctuality of the teachers towards impacting quality knowledge to the students who he said were the future of the Niger Delta region and Nigeria in general.

In his remarks on behalf of the School and Ikot Uko community, the Principal of Community Secondary School, Ikot Uko, Mr. Etim Solomon Akpan said the project had introduced a great sense of beauty to the School community.

"The commissioning of the Staff Quarters for the School has shown the presence of the Federal Government in the School and in Ikot Uko community," he reiterated.

Stephen Kilebi,
Deputy Director,
Press and Public Relations,
14th May, 2019

Federal Government trains another 154 Niger Delta Youths on Poultry, Fishery, 47 in Confectionery, Household Technology

In continuation of its training and empowerment programme for the youths and women in the Niger Delta region, the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, has trained another batch of 154 youths and women on poultry and fishery farming and 47 others on confectionery and household technology. 

The training, which lasted for two weeks, came to conclusion over the weekend with graduation ceremonies, which took place at the First Technical University Ibadan and The Polytechnic Ibadan, Oyo State respectively.

The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani, represented by the Director Economic Empowerment in the Ministry, Mr. Braimah Akanya told the graduands to make good use of the opportunity to become good ambassadors of the region and the country at large.

He also told them to make good use of the startup package given to them by the Federal Government judiciously in order to free themselves from the labour market and to be ready to train and employ other youths within their localities.

Pic Above: Some of the trainees in group photograph with the Hon. Ministers's representative, Mr. Braimah A. Akanya. Below: Representative of the Hon. Minister, Mr. Braimah A. Akanya presenting certificate to of the trainees.

More so, the Minister reassured the people of the region of the Federal Government's commitment to such initiative.

The Minister congratulated the graduands for the skills acquired and urged them to be self-sustaining, while assuring the participants of other opportunities ahead to support their activities.

He advised the participants to be serious with their businesses, as they have been empowered to start up immediately, telling them that what was given to them was the startup capital, so they should not squander it.

Usani thanked the University for supporting the Ministry by providing enabling environment for such a programme.

In his remarks, the Vice Chancellor of First Technical University Ibadan, Prof. Ayobami Salami also appreciated the Ministry for choosing the school for the training. He expressed the readiness of the institution to collaborate with the Ministry in subsequent trainings.

One of the training Consultants, Mr. Segun Sobajo advised the grandaunt on the need to start practicing the business ideas they have learnt in earnest to enable the Federal government achieve its primary aim of the training and empowerment programme which he said was to curb the rate of poverty and unemployment in the Niger Delta region.

Similarly, the Rector of The Polytechnic Ibadan, Prof. Kazeem Adekunle Adebiyi, represented by the Managing Director, Polyventure, Dr. Lawal Kolawole told the 47 Niger Delta youths and women who were trained in confectionery and household technology, to see the programme as a golden opportunity, calling on the beneficiaries to make use of their experience for the good of themselves, the Niger Delta region and Nigeria in general.

Prof. Kazeem, commended the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration's initiatives on human capital development in the Niger Delta region.

The trainees expressed gratitude to the Federal Government for the opportunity to be part of the training programmes.

Stephen Kilebi,
Deputy Director,
Press & Public Relations,
12th May 2019.

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