The 180 Bakassi returnees trained in Cross River State have commended the Federal Government for impacting positively in their lives, saying they were amazed as they were made Half-Millionaires in ten days by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.

This commendation was made at the Convocation Ceremony marking the end of a 10-day training and empowerment programme for Bakassi Returnees who were trained in Poultry, Fishery Production, Processing, Preservation, Packaging and Marketing at the University of Calabar, Cross River State over the weekend.

One of the trainees who spoke on behalf of his colleagues, Pastor Effiom Ogwa Enang said: “We have been observing politics in Nigeria but what we are seeing today is historic, that in ten days, the Federal Government turned out 180 Half-Millionaires, is overwhelming.”

Pastor Enang attributed contracts’ failure in Nigeria to lack of proper supervision, adding that the training and empowerment programme was successful because it was properly supervised.

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The trainees pledged their unwavering support for the President Muhammadu Buhari- led Government and the leadership of Pastor Usani Uguru Usani in the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.

In his keynote address, the Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs, Prof. Claudius Omoleye Daramola admonished the graduands to make good use of the Skills they have acquired, by running profitable enterprises that will engage other women and youths in their various communities. He also charged them to contribute to the food security of the Niger Delta Region and Nigeria at large.

The Minister of State who was represented by the Director Community Development and Education in the Ministry, Mrs Laureen Braide, added that the training and empowerment programme was a continuous exercise. “Those who have been agitating for inclusion should be reassured that they have been heard and therefore will be considered in subsequent batches to be self-employed and self-dependent,”

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One of the resource persons at the training and the Dean, School of Management Sciences, University of Jos, Prof. Sam Ocholi believed that government’s investment in the trainees will not be in vain. He also appealed to the Federal Government to provide adequate infrastructure that will aid the graduands in their various ventures.

Prof. Ocholi added that the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs should ensure that the activities of the trainees were monitored in a bid to support them from time to time.

Similarly, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani speaking through one of his Aides, Mr. Ogbiji Ogbiji, expressed delight over the successful hosting of the programme in Cross River state. He urged the graduands to reciprocate the good gestures of the Federal Government by becoming great entrepreneurs and contributing meanifully to food security in the Niger Delta region and the whole country..

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Earlier, the Deputy Director, Economic Empowerment Department in the Ministry, Mr. Philip Ndiomu said about 800 youths, women and men in the Niger Delta region were participating in the on-going training and empowerment programme in batches, across the states in the region and other locations in Nigeria.

Mr. Ndiomu reiterated that the programme was put together to reduce unemployment rate in the Niger Delta region and Nigeria in general, by empowering those who will first be employers of themselves and then employers of other people.


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