Abia Votes N145m For 1,630 Jobs

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Abia State Government is to spend about N144.5 million on the creation of 1,630 jobs for unemployed youths in the state.
Governor Theodore Orji, who flagged off registration of unemployed youths who would benefit from the job openings at the Umuahia Township Stadium, Thursday, said he has approved the release of N85 million for the job creation scheme and directed ministry of youth development to source for N17 million from any bank willing to partner with it on the programme.
The governor also directed all the 17 local governments in the state to pay a counter-part fund of N2.5 million each for the programme designed to check unemployment in the state and to discourage the youths from criminal acts like kidnapping and other violent crimes prevalent in the state.
He also said that government approved that the ministry should sell the employment forms for the scheme for N500 to participants, adding that money realized from the sales should be ploughed back in the scheme.
The governor said that the revitalisation of moribund industries; establishment of the common facility centres and industrial market were all geared towards the provision of meaningful employment to Abia youths.
He commended the Ministry of Youth Development for initiating the scheme and charged other ministries to be proactive in evolving programmes that would move their ministries forward.
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mrs. Charity Umezie, in her speech, described the event as a milestone, as it was the first time the governor has approved the creation of 1,630 jobs for Abia youths, adding that it underscored the sensitivity of the Governor Orji to the plight of teeming unemployed youths in the state.
Mrs. Umezie said entrepreneurship was the key to overcoming youth unemployment challenges, adding that the exercise would facilitate the creation of an employment data bank for the private sector. She urged youths to grab the opportunity.
Also speaking, chairman of the occasion and former Commissioner for Youth Development, Mr. Uche Ihediwa, said that about three banks were prepared to partner with the ministry in the scheme, adding that civil servants would serve as guarantors for beneficiaries.