By Aruoriwo Ivovi

As part of the empowerment initiatives of the Delta State Government to upscale the skills of youths in Information Communication Technology (ICT) in the state, no fewer than 100 youths, including civil servants, have graduated from the state Emerging Markets Model Initiative training.

The graduands of the programme, made up of 70 youths from across the 25 Local Government areas of the state and 30 public servants, selected from various MDAs, completed the three-months intensive training in cyber security, project design and web development as implemented by Tech4Dev and Microsoft.

Beneficiaries were fully equipped with laptops by the state government in realisation of the strategic wealth creation and Stronger Delta agenda of the Senator (Dr.) Ifeanyi Okowa’s led administration.

The Chief Economic Adviser to the governor, Dr. Kingsley Emu, who is the Coordinator of the programme, while addressing the trainees, underscored the importance and adaptability of technology to all facets of human endeavours in modern times.

Explaining the relevance of the programme, he noted that technology was the modern in-thing, adding that it was important to upscale the skills of beneficiaries to enable them compete favourably in the global space.

He maintained that the selection process was rigorous and in strict adherence to standard.

Dr. Emu reiterated the irrevocable commitment of Governor Okowa to human capacity development in the state and urged the beneficiaries of the programme to reciprocate the kind gesture of the state government.

He disclosed that the state government had trained over 12, 855 entrepreneurs in the last seven years and provided direct employment to 223, 000 unemployed persons in the state.

Dr. Emu also stated that the Okowa Administration had created over 1.3million indirect jobs to Deltans and called on the beneficiaries to reciprocate the gesture by supporting the governor’s vice presidential ambition.

While congratulating the beneficiaries on their successful completion of the three months training, the Chief Economic Adviser urged them to put skills acquired into good practice in order to be relevant in the tech business.

Also speaking at the ceremony, the Commissioner for Science and Technology, Mrs. Jennifer Adasen, expressed satisfaction with the number of girls that participated in the programme.

She challenged them to cherish the skills acquired from the training as, according to her, it would launch them into the world

‘’You can work anywhere without depending on the government. However, if you do not sleep on the knowledge that you have gained today, the sky would be your limit. I wish you luck,’’ she said.

Earlier, the Executive Assistant to the Governor on ICT, Mr. Emmanuel Odigie, represented by Mr. Henry Onyebadi, in his welcome address, said that the training was in line with the vision of Governor Okowa to bequeath a Stronger Delta to his successor.

‘’To make it easy for the participants, the state government has provided one laptop for each of them as well as free data for the entire duration of the training. The laptops are meant to be taken home by the participants as a starter pack for continuity and sustainability of the vision of the state government and the empowerment of the participants as a stepping stone to greater heights,’’ he said.

‘’Never allow what you have learned to remain within you alone. Do not act like the foolish, lazy and ungrateful steward who dug the ground and hid the one talent given to him. Rather, we expect you to act like the Biblical steward who invested his five talents and made profits to the admiration of his master,’’ he said.

The Programme Manager, Tech4Dev, Mr. Abraham Akpan, who also spoke at the event, said that the programme was designed to build the capacity of crucial ministries, departments and Amagencies (MDAs) to offer better services in the state.

The ceremony climaxed with the presentation of awards to three outstanding participants and a Microsoft-endorsed certificate to all the beneficiaries after they had demonstrated their proficiencies through different projects they handled