The Delta State ICT Youth Empowerment Program introduced by our pragmatic and trail blazing Governor – Senator Doc Ifeanyi Okowa through the Ministry of Science and Technology is a program meant to equip youths of the state with cutting-edge ICT skills and innovative competencies.
The program which the governor birthed with a lofty objective of empowering young Deltans with ICT skills and knowledge to be entrepreneurs and economic drivers was launched sometime in February 2021.
To ensure that very competent, passionate and committed individuals were enlisted for the program, a rigid and competitive selection procedure which involved CBT exams, certificate screening and oral interview were adopted by handlers of the program.
Upon completion of training, participants are to be provided with empowerment packages (starter packs) in the areas of their specialization to enable them start up entrepreneurship activities immediately. The program include training in Basic and Advanced Frontend/Backend Web Development, Mobile Development, UI/UX Design Essentials, Advanced Networking, CCTV Installations, etc.
Orientation/class resumption for selected candidates commenced on the 24th of May, 2021 at Delta State Innovation Hub Asaba.
The training which involved intensive lecture and hands-on sessions lasted for four months and participants were made to commit to full attendance which means them leaving their places of private assignments.
Agony of Participants.
The ICT-YEP had participants of Deltans decent from within and outside the state. On several occasions during the selection stage, participants had to travel from their various places of residence within and outside the state to Asaba.
Upon being successful in the selection process and subsequently offered admission, majority of the participants had to contend with accommodation challenge. While some who lived in neighboring communities of Ogwashi Uku, Agbor, Abraka, etc. had to come to Asaba daily for their training sessions, others who came from afar and could not be accommodated by relatives, friends and acquaintances had to secure short term accommodation for the duration of the program.
DELTA STATE ICT
Even with the high cost of living in Asaba, participants were dedicated to their training schedules and activities with the consolation or taking solace in the better future that awaits upon completion of the program as they were promised to be adequately compensated through starter packs to immediately begin entrepreneurship.
For the duration of the training, participants having left their places of private assignment or personal hustling in the absence of official employment had to endure devastating hardship as they lived on monthly stipends of Ten Thousand Naira (#10,000) from the Ministry and support from relatives and acquaintances, for those who are from a privileged background.
Almost two (2) months after successful completion of the training, participants are yet to officially hear from the government as well as handlers of the program regarding the mode of empowerment (starter pack). Participants are therefore now very agitated, disquiet and losing patience and faith as a result of the prolonged silence from the government.
Delay in providing starter packs to participants would no doubt jeopardize attaining the objectives of the program and the good intentions of our trail blazing governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa for introducing the program. Participants ought to be engaging skills and knowledge they have acquired and the promised starter pack is very instrumental to this.
This is therefore a call and plea on the governor and other stakeholders of the program to expedite actions to see that participants are given their due entitlements.
DELTA STATE ICT
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