- Imo based youth organizations, individuals proffered ideas on the programme
BY CONSTANCE EKE, RALPH EJIMKONYE
Civil society groups and concerned individuals both at home and in diaspora, have advised Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma, to reappraise the N6billion naira he earmarked for 500,000 Imo youths, under his administration’s youth empowerment programme.
Speaking to INNONEWS on the programme, the state co- coordinator, Imo Youths for Good Governance, Mr. Chuks Ehirim, advised the governor to re asses the programme.
He said “If the N6billion naria will be given out as loans or grants to 500,000 youths in the state, by our calculation, it is N12,000 per youth. That is too meager to start up a business.
“We at, Imo Youths For Good Governance, have evaluated the programme and we concluded that the governor may mean well for the youths, but he has to adjust the programme to ensure that the purpose of initiating it will be realized.
“The state government should have understudied the Federal Government Survival Fund, where 300,000 youths will receive N30,000 for three months and over 500,000 business interests to be registered by the CAC. That would have served as a guide for the state government.
“What should be paramount to the state government is to create employment opportunities for the youths in the state workforce. If former Governor Ikedi Ohakim could employ 10,000 youths in the state civil service, this administration can do better”
An Owerri based legal practitioner, Barrister Okechukwu Iwuamadi, argued that the youth empowerment programme of the Uzodinma administration is the biggest youth package embarked on by any serving governor in the state.
“He deserves credit for his intention. This is the biggest youth programme we have seen in the state. I only hope that it is faithfully implemented
John Okezie of the Centre for Youth Development, said the State government should change the module of the programme.
“The programme seems too complicated. It should be reappraised for easy implementation. The number should be reduced. One hundred youths can be selected from each of the 306 wards in the State in every quarter of the year for a revolving youth empowerment programme. In a year, you will discover that a good number of our youths would be empowered across the state.
Imo State born U.K based author, Mr. Lawrence Eke, queried where and how the state government will assess N6 billion naira for a youth empowerment programme.
He said “In the case of N6 billion naria for youth empowerment, where is the money coming from since the state government is still owing pensions and workers salaries.
“I hope the Governor is not rushing the youth empowerment programme initiative due to the recent nationwide youths protest. Such programme should be thoroughly considered before pronouncements are made.
“Is it for youth business loans? Is it for youth training? Or isnt it better it is used to build factories where youths will get gainful employment” Eke stated.