80 Niger Delta Youths Benefit From IYC ICT Training Programme

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The first batch of 80 youths of the Niger Delta have graduated from the free Information Communication Technology (ICT) training programme organised by the office of the national spokesman for the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), Ebilade Ekerefe.

The intensive training covered areas such as computer appreciation, office production tools and internet utility as well as web development (HTML, CSS and Bootstrap).

The best 12 graduating beneficiaries were presented with brand new laptops while others would receive their starter-packs before the commencement of the second batch of the training programme in February, 2023.

Speaking during the graduation ceremony at the DSP Alamieyeseigha Memorial Banquet Hall, Government House, Yenagoa , Bayelsa State, at the weekend, Governor Douye Diri commended the IYC spokesman for supporting the government’s efforts at ICT skills acquisition for youths.

Diri represented by the Commissioner for Ijaw National Affairs, Patrick Erasmus said the laudable empowerment programme would divert youths from criminal activities and enable them to focus on development and peace.

He frowned at the attitude of some beneficiaries of government-organized training who failed to put the knowledge acquired to use but instead sold their starter-packs, urging the graduands to help themselves with the ICT skills they had learned.

“I want to congratulate Ebilade Ekerefe for complementing the efforts of the government in this regard. It was not easy for him to put this together, ” he said.

In his remarks, the chairman of the occasion and President of the Ijaw National Congress (INC), Professor Benjamin Okaba stated that the ICT training was one of the answers to claims by multinational oil companies that the Ijaw nation did not have skilled manpower.

He noted that Ijaw people could take their rightful place in the oil and gas sector by acquiring the necessary education and training.

Also speaking, the chairman of the State Traditional Rulers Council, King Bubaraye Dakolo applauded the initiator of the programme and urged the beneficiaries to use the knowledge they had acquired to “become engaged and soar high”.

The IYC spokesman explained that the initiative was designed to change the narrative of the struggle by the Ijaw nation, stressing that rather than adopting a repeated combatant approach, which had yielded less results, there was a need to deploy an intellectual approach.

He further said, “I observed that in this digital age, Ijaw youths and the people of the region should not be left behind and allow oil multinationals to continue in their lame excuse of not employing Niger Delta youths due to poor ICT knowledge.

“I want to call on the oil multinationals, Federal Government agencies and parastatals that the days of excuses and stereotype positions against Ijaw youths are over. The Ijaw youths of now are more educated and empowered to be gainfully employed in any sector of the economy. Some have even become employers of labour while others are ready to compete in the labour market”.

Two of the beneficiaries, Inikio Treasure and Peremobowei Mike thanked the organisers of the training and promised to utilise the knowledge acquired to better their lives.

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