Ikpeazu promises engaging youths to directly repair, renovate damaged property
•Says it is difficult to deal with youths not having viable ideas
Abia State Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, yesterday, said that youths may be engaged directly to repair or renovate property and infrastructure damaged during the #EndSARS protests in the state while government provides the needed materials.
He expressed worry over the sorry plight of unemployed youths, saying that it is difficult to empower or deal with youths that do not have viable ideas.
He consequently urged those that have viable business proposals to submit them to government for evaluation with a view to sponsoring them to actualise their intended businesses.
He said that the hitherto practice of empowering youths with motorcycles, tricycles and so on did not achieve expected results, stressing that it would be more lasting and viable to train them to acquire skills and thereafter give them logistics support to establish the skills they were trained in.
The governor lamented that the joblessness of the youths led some to engage in unlawful acts, including the recent destruction of lives, private and public property during the #EndSARS protest.
Meanwhile, the extant 24-hour curfew imposed on Aba and Umuahia by Ikpeazu has been adjusted with effect from today, Monday, October 26, 2020.
According to the state’s Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu, the curfew will now prevail from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. until further adjustment.
Kalu, in a statement, said that members of the public were free to move and go about their normal businesses within the new time-frame.
He, however, said that those on essential duties were exempted from the curfew.
Ikpeazu, who had last week inaugurated a 12-member committee to ascertain the public and private infrastructure destroyed or vandalised in the state during the #EndSARS protest, evaluate the financial losses and guide government in considering options that may include possible compensations, also recalled the efforts his administration had made to engage the youths meaningfully, saying that a lot of job opportunities were created/provided for them, including changing the narratives in artisanship/ entrepreneurship and establishing automated shoe factory in the state, all targeted at the youths.
He also recalled government’s efforts at the general promotion of Made-in-Aba products and establishment of SME Bank for micro and medium entrepreneurs, among others, adding that cottage industries are being established currently in the state starting with seven local councils.
According to him, the December 18, 2020 scheduled local council election has also provided the youths opportunities to vie for elective offices, participate as paid polling officials or appointees into political offices after the poll.