Over 3000 youths drawn from six local government areas of Abia State have been selected to be trained in a World Bank assisted youth empowerment programme.
This is even as the state government has formally keyed into the YESSO; a World Bank-assisted programme, designed to provide jobs for the teeming unemployed youths.
Mrs. Rita Okengwu, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education in the state, said this during the launch of the first phase of the orientation training for the stakeholders and beneficiaries of the programme.
Speaking at the event, which took place at Amapu Ntigha in Isiala-Ngwa North Local Government Area of the state, Okengwu said the 3,863 beneficiaries were drawn from six pilot LGAs representing the three senatorial districts in the state.
She listed the LGAs to include Isialangwa north and Isialangwa south (Abia central), Ohafia and Umunneochi (Abia north) as well as Ugwunagbo and Ukwa East (Abia south).
She commended Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu for mustering the political will to provide the multi-million naira counterpart fund to qualify Abia for the programme.
In a speech, the YESSO Focal Person, Mr. Endi Ezengwa, said arrangements were being worked out to ensure the successful implementation of the programme.
Ezengwa said government would work with the leadership of town unions and traditional institutions to monitor the implementation process.
Dignitaries at the launch included the traditional rulers of Amapu Ntigha and Ohambele Autonomous Communities, Eze Nelson Asonye, and Eze Anthony Wabara, as well as Chief Ginger Onwusibe, representing Isialangwa North Constituency in the Abia House of Assembly.
Others were the Peramnent Secretary, Ministry of Poverty Reduction and Rural Development, Rev. Ernest Onyeukwu, and Executive Secretary/Permanent Secretary, State Planning Commission, Mrs. Adanma Iheuwa, among others.
In their separate goodwill messages, they commended the World Bank and Abia government for the programme meant to alleviate the plight of the poor and vulnerable in society through job creation.