Utilize Knowledge, Enrich Yourselves, Minister Ikoh Charges Ikwuano Women
*As FMSTI Empowers 62 On Mushroom, Snail production, Others
The Honourable Minister of State for Science, Technology and Innovation, Chief Henry Ikoh has charged participants at a Capacity Development Programme to ensure they utilize the knowledge and skills acquired to enhance their livelihood and impact meaningfully on the society.
This is even as the Federal Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, (FMSTI) has, in collaboration with Department of Bioresources Technology, organised a 3-day Capacity Development Programme with the theme: “Empowerment Of Women And Unemployed Youths In A Sustainable Development”.
Addressing the participants comprising women and youths drawn from across Ikwuano Local Government Area of Abia State, at the opening section on Friday, at Umundara Ahuwa Oboro, H.E Ikoh who was represented by Engr Ibiam Oguejiofo, reiterated his unflinching commitment towards making better the lots of the people of Ikwuano and Abia in general.
The Ozurumba 1 of Ikwuano, appealed to the participants to ensure that they maximize the rare opportunity as created by the Ministry to improve their lives this becoming self-employed as well as eradicate poverty from their immediate society.
“This is an opportunity for you all here to make wealth and I encourage you to be focused and endeavour to put to practice the knowledge and skills you acquire from this training. This programme is geared towards bringing to an end hunger and poverty. Therefore, I want everyone of you here to utilize it and not only will you make wealth through this medium but also, will become employers of labour”, he advised.
Meanwhile, the Capacity programme was divided into three different segments, namely; Fish Farming, Snail Farming and Mushrooms Production.
The Lead resource persons Mr. Usino Christian who trained the participants on Mushroom Cultivation, described Mushroom production as a lucrative business “for those who are determined”, he said, adding that the programme was aimed at creating enabling ground for the participants to become self-employed, as well as employers of labour.
He outlined various categories of Mushroom, ranging from Edible, Medicinal and Poisonous Mushrooms, as well as Miscellaneous group, while noting that Miscellaneous group “refer to mushrooms whose values are not yet established.”
Furthermore, he posited among other things, that starting a Mushroom farm “does not require so much resources or space”.
“Mushroom production does not require much technical knowledge; the market is both local and international; mushroom farming is highly lucrative because the raw materials are usually waste products”.
Speaking further, he said:
“Mushroom is of various types, but there are 4 common ones, namely: Chanterelles-which is very rich in Vitamin C,D and contains a high amount of potassium; Shiitake- mostly found in Asian countries and is widely known to reduce tumors; Morels- contains a high amount of Vitamin C and anti-oxidant. It also helps to protect the liver from toxic materials; and Oysters-helps to reduce the cholesterol level in the body, as or contains antibacterial and anti-oxidant properties and a lot of amino acids”, he added.
Addressing newsmen, Mr. Usino advised the participants not to allow the opportunity slip off their fingers, stressing that the skills, if adequately harnessed would, in no doubts, improve their income.
Hear him: “This is supposed to be a game changer for them; it will improve their income. So, they should go all out and practice what they’ve learnt, utilise the knowledge, develop and enrich themselves and the society around”, he advised
Meanwhile, he commended the participants for their show of burning zeal to obtain the knowledge and utilise same, while also describing their disposition as “very wonderful, cooperative, and their hospitality is ‘second to none’. They’re willing and eager to learn”, he said.
Corroborating, His Worship, Obiageri Ikoh, that the Minister was driven by the irresistible need to empower people, as she lamented that the present day’s Nigeria had millions of unemployed youths who roam around the streets on daily basis.
The wife of the Minister, while decrying the spate of graduate unemployment, however, expressed regrets over the blunt refusal of Nigerian youths to embrace skills acquisition other than waiting hopelessly for white collar jobs.
“Our drive is borne out of the need to empower the people. We have a lot of graduates who lack skills and empowerment. Everyone is waiting for white collar jobs but it doesn’t come easily.
Continuing, she said: “This is a a sort of means to distribute wealth because when you acquire the knowledge, you can be able to employ others. My prayer is for them to learn one or two things to make them better.”
His Worship amidst euphoria, congratulated her husband, whom she noted had within the shortest sketch of time in office, conducted two mind-blowing empowerment programmes for the people of Ikwuano, as she assured that the participants would be receive take-off funds, as provided by the Ministry.
“I feel elated because the Minister has always had the interest of his people at heart. Few months into his appointment, he has empowered over 200 persons. This is the second programme and it’s just a starting point because he has more programmes for the people”, she concluded.
Also, Mrs. Ifeoma Godwin, one of the participants expressed heartfelt gratitude to the Honourable Minister for availing them what she described as a golden opportunity, “to participate in a life changing training.
“I have great expectations, because this programme will go a long way helping me. It will not only give me more insight but it will empower me to make wealth.
“With the Mushroom production technology, I will be able to make sales and profits. In Umuahia, we have a lot of markets and I will be able to take them there and make sales. I am very grateful to the Minister for this opportunity”, she said.