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Ex-Commissioner, Eunice Thomas, Launches ‘Success Squad’

EUNICE THOMASFormer Commissioner for Women Affairs in Akwa Ibom state, Mrs. Eunice Thomas, has unveiled her Non-Governmental Organisation, Success Squad.
Speaking to newsmen in her residence, Mrs. Thomas said the group is set out to train and retrain fresh graduates on various aspects of skills, noting that the body has farms for agriculture where its members are being trained by experts.
She lauded President Muhammadu Buhari’s agenda for the unemployed fresh graduates, but stressed that for the N5,000 monthly gesture of Mr President to stand the test of time, it should be given to unemployed youths who are resourceful.
Earlier, the Media Manager of the group, Otobong Sampson, had while briefing newsmen said that the body was initiated in order to re-focus youths in the state and empower them with skill acquisitions of their choice. Sampson said; “The Squad is raising a pool of volunteers with a target of one hundred thousand membership strength in different spheres of endeavours. Currently, we have volunteers in areas such as agriculture, education, engineering, media and public relations, and health. We have worked out a financial model where these member-volunteers will be placed on monthly stipends while they will undergo refresher trainings on a quarterly basis.
“The educator volunteers for instance, the target is the rural schools in the most interior villages where teachers work out their transfers back to urban centers immediately after their postings to these interiors thereby leaving these schools virtually empty of sound tutors. The stipend is to serve as anti-demoralizer to these volunteers but the real deal is to equip and prepare them for better opportunities whether in government or multinationals which we can secure as a formidable force.
“In the area of agriculture, our agricultural team is already doing great jobs. We are producing palm oil, we are doing fisheries through our ponds, we raise poultry birds, plantain plantation, we are developing our waterleaf beds at the moment. We are looking at tomato and pepper cultivation with improved seedlings that can survive on our soil as well as other crops. We are currently working on branding.
“Our scope here is elastic but we have the challenge of agricultural lands and funds. With an uncertain, even a gloomy oil future; there is no reason why we shouldn’t scramble back to agriculture. Government do not give loans to intending farmers, loans are given to practicing farmers. And so while we are getting our members actively engaged in a means of livelihood and food sufficiency for the Nigerian society, we are also positioning them for greater opportunities through expansion and industrial agriculture.
“Our engineering unit will generally seek to create a platform that encourages young Akwa Ibom graduates and unskilled labour in this field to engage themselves and acquire necessary and additional skills and experience which will be applied to the development of the community. Our team will cover training areas such as road repairs and maintenance, electrical installations, construction, borehole drilling, and mechanized farming, to mention a few. If the state government can successfully drive its industrialization policy, then we will have a ready market for labour supply to the firms that will be coming in. However, the long term goal of this unit is to have a Squad of elite engineers with the expertise to compete in line with global best practices.
“The issue of youth unemployment cannot be over-stated. And so, we have designed a practical model which we are confident will take a significant number of youths off the streets and make them become wage earners and entrepreneurs. We are conducting surveys in competences and skills required to drive both the state and the country’s economy. Through our brand, we will encourage the youths to acquire skills required by the market.
“We hope to build a team where ambition is encouraged, industriousness is rewarded and innovation is celebrated so that the younger ones can look to the future with certain hope. We intend to shut effectively the gap where the wide majority labour hard to earn a living but feel disappointed by a system that ignores merit and denies opportunities.
We cannot do this alone. We need the partnership of corporate organizations, government, churches and selfless individuals,” he said.(Culled from The Radar)

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