From Steve Oko, Umuahia
Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State has declared that Aba artisans remained the world’s best shoes and clothes designers.
Ikpeazu who made the claims while speaking at the 2018 International Youth Day celebration held at Michael Okpara Auditorium Umuahia, said that the ingenuity of Aba artisans in shoe and clothing designs among other trades, remained unparalleled both in Africa and beyond.
The Governor restated this resolve to keep wearing only made-in-Aba shoes and clothes, a decision he had made right from his day one in office.
This, according to him, is part of his effort as the chief promoter of made-in- Aba products to market and project Abia – made goods as a special brand to the global market.
He tasked youth corps members in the state to ensure they acquire at least a skill before the end of their service year in the state, arguing that “additional skill plus formal education equip youths better for tomorrow”.
Ikpeazu noted that the teeming Nigeria youths can only guarantee their future through acquisition of vocational skills for self-reliance as white collar jobs are no longer forthcoming.
He however, blamed Nigerian leaders for not being able to provide Nigerian youths with the ambience needed to reach their heights.
The governor disclosed that the state had established skill acquisition centres across the three senatorial zones of the State where youths are trained on various skills, including modern tailoring, shoemaking, carpentering etc.
He revealed that some part of the UBEC fund was set aside to buy chairs manufactured in Abia for the schools in the State
Earlier in his remarks, Commissioner for Youth Development, Chief Ike Anyatonwu described the day as a milestone in youth empowerment effort of the state government.
He said the Ministry in order to promote empowerment in the grassroots, inaugurated Community Youth Leaders who would assist in galvanizing the youths in the State.
Speaking also, Chairman of the occasion, Mr. Lucky Igbokwe urged the youths to take their destinies in their own hands through engaging in the creative industry to become job creators.