GOVERNOR Timipre Sylva of Bayelsa State, President Goodluck Jonathan's home state, has said that his administration will focus more on youths training, development and empowerment in a seeming frantic bid to channel the restive youths of the oil and gas region into productive economic activities.
Government House sources in Yenagoa, the state capital, who made this known to AkanimoReports on Monday night, said this is coming as 20 youths from the state who travelled to Thailand to acquire training in fashion design and dress-making have completed their training and returned to the state capital.
Spokesman for Governor Sylva, Doifie Ola, who confirmed this to our correspondent, pointed out that his boss was not only gratified that they all returned safely, but that they successfully completed their programme in record time.
Sylva, he said, assured that government will do everything to ensure that the training the youths acquired would be beneficial to the people of the state. He said one way to absorb the 20 dress making and fashion design graduates will be to establish a garment industry in the state.
The governor advised them to be creative and to strive to make a name for themselves. Director-General of the State Micro-Credit Administration Agency, Mr. Thom Owugha, revealed that the original intention was to train 10 of the youths in fashion designing and the other 10 in dress making but that at the end, all 20 of them received training in both fashion design and dress making.
He explained that despite cultural and language barriers the youths under-took a third specialized course in modelling, make-up artistry, personality development, social manner and art of communication and successfully completed all three courses within record time.
Owugha said, with the training the youths have acquired, they are adequately prepared for any challenge in the areas of fashion design and dress making.
The Director-General said the youths were carefully selected by a committee comprising fashion designers and staff of his agency, adding that all twenty youths with a minimum qualification of secondary school certificate, have a background in tailoring.
Also speaking, one of the youths, Ms. Binalayefa Okereke, lauded the governor for the skills acquisition initiative and pledged that the funds spent on their training will not be a waste because they are ready to make a name for themselves and the state.
She said the issue of language was a severe challenge but expressed gratitude that with the support of the state government and determination on their part, they were able to complete three distinct programmes on schedule.
The training programme, facilitated by the Bayelsa State Micro-Credit Administration Agency, took place at the Kalawin International Fashion School, Bangkok, Thailand. ENDS