EU to empower 2,500 youths - Coordinator

"The momentum to reform the public funds is also on going and we are doing some reforms in budgeting under the project,’’ he said.

EU to empower 2,500 youths in Rivers -- Coordinator

Mr Amos Kelsius, the Rivers Coordinator, State Employment and Expenditure for Results (SEEFOR) of the European Union, on Tuesday said 2,500 youths would be employed through the project.

Kelsius told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that the youth were expected to be employed in the informal sector in the state.

He said they would be trained in welding, fabrication, electronic and fashion designing and other skills.

NAN reports that the SEEFOR is a project being funded through an EU 80 million Euro support programme in collaboration with the World Bank.

The project is being implemented by the National Planning Commission in four pilot states in the Niger-Delta mainly Bayelsa, Delta, Edo and Rivers

Kelsius said that no fewer than 800 jobs had been generated for the youth in the state, adding that more youths would benefit from the project by the last quarter of the year.

"A lot of youths have been given employment through our Public Works Programme and technical and vocational schools owned by government in the state have also received a boost.

"We have built the capacity of instructors in those schools; we have provided them with instruction materials and are trying to improve the capacity of students as well.

On the payment of counterpart funding, he said that Rivers had complied with the funding in implementing the project.

He said that the benefiting states were expected to pay N150 million per annum for a period of five years.

"We contributed N150 million in 2014 and we are planning to pay this year.’’

Kelsiu, however, said that the state was facing some challenges in implementing the public work component of the project, noting that the state experienced delay in safety issues.

The coordinator also said that the state had faced challenges in the management of the youth and their expectations.

In addition to close marking the youth, he said they needed to close mark the contractors to achieve success in the project.

"The tax implementation is the greatest area we are having challenges in public works but we have devised strategies to handle the challenge,’’ he said.

The coordinator said that the project had enhanced the opportunities for employment and access to socio-economic services in the state.

He said that the project had also improved the expenditure management in the state and exposed the trainees to the possibility of getting jobs in the formal sector.

"There is possibility for the trainees to get jobs in formal sectors as some construction companies have already indicated interest in employing them.

"We will further train them so that they can be relevant in other sectors of the economy apart from the construction sector,’’ Kelsius said.

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