Dr Chima Okereke, the usually soft-spoken, London-based project management expert had barely finished a well-articulated strategy speech on how Amuvi should take the bull by the horns in order to reverse the infrastructural deficit in the community through mass mobilization of its sons and daughters for support when the urbane, US-based medical practitioner, Dr Lemmy Okoroji, went down memory lane and reminded
everyone in the elite group of mostly technocrats and professionals, known as Amuvi Development Group (ADG) how people like late Mazi Ezumah Ngwu revolutionized human capital development in Amuvi by equipping many citizens with much needed opportunities to gain skills for various occupations, gainful employment and/or to thrive in business as entrepreneurs.
The environment of the bi-weekly virtual meeting became
animated instantly and emotions rose high as people like Mazi Charles Sunny Onyeador (Aro Ivuonu), Mazi Val Emesih, Mazi Kingsley Okereke, Mazi Goddy Oti, Prof Gibson Okorafor, Mazi Denis Ume-Igboko and many others noted the need for immediate action on youth empowerment. Mazi Chris Okugo, the AFNA boss, Mrs. Uju Nd-Ezumah, Prof Cyril Oji, Mazi Ikechukwu Okafor, Edward Enyi Okoro, Mrs. Ijeoma Orji-Okoronkwo
and others couldn’t agree less. Thus, the beagle sounded, or so it seemed, for instant approval of the youth empowerment scheme crafted by the education and training project team led by Dr Azubike Okoro which, most members believed, was very professionally designed.
The youth empowerment scheme, one of the cardinal projects of the ADG, was a reaction to the ugly socio-economic situation in the community that needed to be addressed. The Amuvi Welfare Union (AWU) led by Mazi Ik Okafor as president-general had, in its desire to alter the trajectory of development and reinvent the past glorious image of the community, inaugurated the ADG whose membership is global to deal with the onerous task of initiating, repairing and managing infrastructural development
projects. Armed with well crafted vision and mission statements, ADG is to mobilize sons and daughters, including friends and well-wishers, identify and develop opportunities that will enhance general wellbeing, thus create a sustainable urban community (‘Small London’) in the next 5 years in Amuvi.
With an interim result of “a community needs analysis” the ADG identified major gaps and set-up project committees that are currently working in concert with corporate and private groups and individuals within and outside the country to actualize the targets which AWU set for it.
The framework for Uda Entrepreneurship Scheme, one of ADG’s flagship projects, is focused on entrepreneurship, reorientation and skill development. The first phase is targeted at youths, defined as boys and girls below 40 years of age, while women and men shall be incorporated in subsequent phases. The leadership and governance structure of the scheme was outlined and the three sub-committees charged with its various assignments formally inaugurated by ADG, Chair on Saturday October 3, 2020. According to Dr Azubike Okoro, Ugwuaro, the overall philosophy of the scheme is to create a local economic development platform that allows and encourages our people to achieve sustainable economic growth and development so as to reduce poverty and improve quality of life.
Every Amuvi indigene that fall within the established need criteria is a target, however, the maiden intervention shall focus on 40 youths who are
below 40 years of age and it shall run in four stages namely, value reorientation training, vocational training by Industrial Training Fund (ITF), National Directorate of Employment (NDE) master craftsmen attachment and business start-up by beneficiaries who will be monitored continuously by successful business managers. Monitoring, Dr Azubike Okoro opined, is identified as a critical success factor as many past start-ups
failed due to lack of observance of basic accounting and management principles. MBA professionals and successful managers of both local and international outfits led by Mazi Marquis Onyeador shall manage this important process to ensure that money spent on the scheme does not become a waste. To create a new village of our pride that is predicated on the principles of economic sustainability, the lead Consultant of the
scheme, Dr Chidi Iheama, insists that it’s imperative to begin by embarking on massive sensitization and related training to usher in value re-orientation, thereby identify the challenges related to values; evolve appropriate value orientation that will drive emerging enterprises; install a culture of transparency and accountability; elevate core values that will guide the new society of our dream; and delineate clear principles for
building an economically sustainable society.
Accordingly, a four-day training is planned for the prospective beneficiaries starting Monday January 4 th , 2021 and the facilitators shall include the ITF Area Manager, Enugu, Mrs. Uzoamaka Yahaya, Mrs. Chioma Alex-Ezumah of NDE, Abuja and Mazi Chibueze Orji, a Vocational Skills expert and lecturer at UNN. According to Dr Iheama, the scheme adopts the rich vocational curricula offered by the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) which grants graduates certificates after 3-6 months training. The objective is to equip the youths with skills that will enable them to be self-employed or gain wage-employment and provide alternative employment opportunities such as forming co-operatives and starting their own businesses. After the
vocational training by ITF, the candidates shall be awarded proficiency certificates and given start-up packs which qualify them for attachment with experienced and master craftsmen in their fields, following the NDE format, for hands-on and on-the-job experience and acquisition of simple business management skills. At the completion of the attachment program, the candidates would have been fully prepared to start the occupation, yet they would remain under the watchful guidance of ADG partners working as monitors/ advisors until they are fully established.
While commenting on the necessity for the scheme, Mazi Ik Okafor, who is the president-general of Amuvi Welfare Union noted as follows ‘earlier this year, our ecxo took a dispassionate look at the state of development in Amuvi, and to ensure that the ugly situation in infrastructural facilities are quickly addressed, activated the constitutional mandate that empowers us to constitute committees that would assist with administration in the village. That was the basis on which ADG was founded. ADG requires benefactors and donors to raise funds to train the people, including equipping them with tools and working capital to commence business undertakings thereafter. This is a flagship program of AWU which is being managed by some of our best brains to ensure that Amuvi regains its past glory in no distant time’. A deadline of November 15, 2020 was given for interested youths to indicate interest but ahead of that time, over 50 Amuvi youths from the seven compounds applied to benefit from the scheme,
and some of the selected skill areas include Beauty Therapy /Hair Gear Tying (Gele), Cosmetology / Soap making, Fashion design/Tailoring, Catering/Confectionery, Farming (Fish, Poultry, Goat, Snail etc.), Plumbing and Pipe fittings, etc.
Many Amuvi sons and daughters, including groups who see this as the best way to invest in people who shall become the pillars of the community tomorrow have already signed up as sponsors, including Dr Lemmy Okoroji, AWU, UK branch, Engr Goddy Ijeoma, Mazi Kinsley Okereke, Mazi Denis Ume-Igboko, Dr Chima & Dr Mrs. Cathrine-Chima Okereke, Ada Mazi Vera Okereke, Mazi Goddy Oti, Mazi Ndubuisi & Mrs Uju Nd-Ezumah, Dr Azubike Okoro, Barrister Ndy Nwankwo, Dr Gerald Chidi Emesih, Mazi
Sunny Onyeador, Mazi Chris & Chinyere Okugo, Mazi Benson Okoronkwo, Mazi Barr Nkem Okereke, Mazi Ikechukwu Okafor Jonah, Eziada, Mazi Chima Owunna, Mazi Cyril Orji, Dr Henry Okey & Colette Onyeador, etc. ADG still requires benefactors and donors to raise sufficient funds to train the people, including equipping them with tools and working capital to commence business undertakings and donors have until February, 2021 to redeem pledges. According to Dr Azubike Okoro, between 245k and 670k is
required to sponsor one person, depending on the skill area aside from money required for reorientation training for all the applicants in January. He notes that several people can pull resources together to adopt and train a person thus, encouraged everyone to join in the vanguard of reinventing the community’s past glory. The mantra everywhere in Amuvi now is “adopt and sponsor few Amuvi youths today and watch them become
well established entrepreneurs tomorrow”. As the majority of youths, who hitherto stay idle are bubbling with confidence and expectations, after completing the application forms, and without knowing how many amongst the over 50 applicants shall beselected, many are joining the growing list of ADG partners on Uda Entrepreneurship Scheme.
The ADG Fund Raising team led by Mazi Charles Onyeador and treasurer, Mrs Ijeoma Oji-Okoronkwo are coordinating and tracking donors. Why are you still waiting, take the bold step today towards ensuring that the scheme becomes a success by committing to it and no amount is too small. Let the scheme go global now as we appeal to our friends and well-wishers to come forward and support it to ensure that the pioneer beneficiaries become models for the rest. Indeed, it’s truly our pleasure to work jointly with everyone for the benefit of this endeavour. Congratulations in advance
as you join the team.