Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia has charged the youth of Abia to acquire skills in order to become self-reliant and make meaningful contributions to the growth of the society.
Ikpeazu gave the charge on Friday during an event organised as part of events to begin commemoration of the 2018 International Youth Day celebration, themed “Safe Spaces for Youths”, in Umuahia.
International Youth Day is marked anually on August 12.
According to him, this is the best time for youths to be equipped with skills, considering the challenge of unemployment facing the nation.
Ikpeazu said that the International Youth Day celebration provided an opportunity for youths to engage in sober reflection on the way forward.
He urged Abia youths to take advantage of the numerous skills acquisition centres in the state, to get empowered with skills like modern tailoring, shoemaking and carpentry, among others.
In his remark, Chief Ike Anyatonwu, the Commissioner for Youth Development, described the day as a milestone in the bid to promote youth empowerment in Abia.
Anyatonwu said that the state government had inaugurated a Council of Community Youth Leadership programme in order to empower youths at the grassroots.
Earlier, Mr Lucky Igbokwe, the Chairman of the occasion, urged youths to take their destiny in their own hands by engaging in productive ventures.
Igbokwe called on the youths to embrace peaceful means in resolving issues, and to desist from violence.
Mr Obioma Ubani, the President of Council of Community Youths (CCYA), Abia State, said the group was delighted and honoured to serve the people of Abia.
Ubani said that CCYA would assist the state government through its activities to reduce crime, drug abuse, sexual harassment and other social vices in the communities.