IT was something fascinating as the Delta State government allocated 134 fish ponds sprawl into the creeks of Egbokodo Itskiri in Warri South LGA of Delta State to some youths in the state as part of its job creation efforts.
The ponds designed one close to the other in the swampy/muddy environment was built by the Job Creation Office of the state government as part of its deliberate effort to create jobs for the teeming youths under the aegis of Youth Agricultural Entrepreneurship Programmee (YAGEP).
The Egbokodo fish cluster as it is called is the second largest and one of the five clusters in the state.
Others are at Ugbokodo-Okpe, Mbiri, Anwai and Alao-Ossisa.
Speaking at the allotment of the ponds at Egbokodo Itskiri to 64 beneficiaries who completed their three months training from YAGEP 2016 circle, the Chief Job Creation Officer, Prof. Eric Eboh, announced that the state government was establishing each beneficiary with 2000 post fingerling, medication, feeds to enable them grow their fishes to table size and with other technical assistance.
According to him, the state government was committed to promoting science based, knowledge driven and profit oriented agriculture
He said the trainees would receive monthly stipend for 6 months for the smooth take off of their enterprises, even as he called on them to maintain discipline by obeying the rules and regulation guiding the fish cluster.
Prof. Eboh charged them to become successful entrepreneurs and business managers in order to exceed the success stories recorded in the 2015 circle, re-echoing that “your success is our success and our success is measured by your success”.
The state government, he said, was collaborating with other agencies involved in tackling youth unemployment such as Chevron sponsored PIND foundation in terms of provision of technical supports and mentoring to the “YAGEPrenuers”.
On his part, the state commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Austine Chikezie pointed out that it was the wish of the state government that they succeed considering its input in the selection, training, and empowerment process adding that establishing them in clusters would encourage hard work and attract support also from private sector investor and donor agencies.
Some of the beneficiaries expressed gratitude to the state government for the fore sight in initiating such a meaningful project to provide them with a dependable means of lively hood.
According to Michael Suoye from Bomadi local government area, he said “with these, am well equipped, well informed and well trained for the future.
Similarly, about 54 youths were provided with audio visuals to enable them stabilize in their profession after training.
Items handed over to each beneficiary by the job creation officer, Prof. Eboh in Asaba weekend include one Hp laptop, tripod stands, fireman sumec generators, camera, lights, operational cash of N50,000 and stipends of N10,000 for three months.