The Andoni local government area chairman in Rivers Erastus Awortu says the council will spend over N150 million annually as a scholarship for youth development to reduce poverty and insecurity.
Awortu made this known while officially handing over the first batch of 15 trainees and beneficiaries of the 2021 Maritime scholarship scheme powered by the Andoni local area council to Charkin Maritime Academy.
According to him, youth development is a pet project his administration will use to achieve sustainable peace and development in the area.
On assumption of duty, the chairman “commenced a fully funded” training programme for 15 students, 12 males and three females.
The fully-funded programme is expected to gulp about N10 million annually for each of the beneficiaries.
“Youth employment is one area that is so dear to my heart. It is a key factor that we intend to harness in the fight against crime and restiveness in Andoni,” he stated.
Commending the gesture, Charles Wami, CEO of Chakin Maritime Academy, said the move was timely considering a large employment gap within the subsector.
“The course for the programme ‘Maritime Education and Training in Marine Engineering and Nautical Science’ will equip beneficiaries with requisite entrepreneurial skills. We are grooming this set of cadets to become merchant navy officers.
“I can assure you, in the next couple of years, these cadets will turn out to be captains and chief engineers onboard ships trading on international waters and, of course, Nigerian waters.
“This is indeed a right step in the right direction considering manpower shortfall in the subsector,” he said.
Meanwhile, beneficiaries of the programme expressed gratitude to the council and especially the new council boss for the initiative while also promising to uphold the confidence reposed on them.