Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, has flagged off Youth Employment and Social Support Operations (YESSO), a World Bank assisted programme, with 3,863 Public Workfare (PWF) and Skills for Job (S4J) beneficiaries.
YESSO programme is anchored through the Federal Government with Abia being the last qualifying state for the scheme and the only participating state in the South East.
Beneficiaries of the programme are paid a monthly stipend of N 7,500 to enable them engage in economic activities.
Only states with existing human resources development project are qualified to participate in the programme.
Governor Ikpeazu, who spoke at the flag off at the International Conference Centre, Umuahia, said the programme was tailored towards enhancing capacity and growing the economy. He charged beneficiaries to make Abia proud.
“I enjoin you today to make sure you multiply and grow whatever that has been given to your to deliver, so that you can be better citizens not only to your families but to Abia and Nigeria in general.
“We expect that as you receive this money, you will deploy it to enhance your capacity to become employers of labour, so that other people will receive their own blessings through you.
“I am sure and confident that you will deploy the Abia spirit in you to become billionaires from the mustard seed in your hand.”
Governor Ikpeazu also noted that the Education for Employment (E4E) programme initiated by his administration within the first 100 days in office has remained an important pillar on which many Federal Government social support initiatives are hinged.
He thanked the Federal Government for keying Abia State into the YESSO initiative and other initiatives of the Federal Government including the School Feeding Programme.
He announced that the essence of the Enyimba City, which his administration is establishing is to create job opportunities for the teeming youths, adding that about 700,000 youths are expected to gain employment through the project.
National Coordinator of YESSO Programme, Hajara Sani, stated that the programme, which was structured by the Federal Government in 2017, with assistance from the World Bank to handle insurgency in the North, also provides cash capital and technical support to unemployed youths and vulnerable members of the society.
She said over 3. 2 million individuals across 15 states of the country are registered in the programme and receive monthly payment of N7,500.