Ebonyi State government has said that it has begun data capturing and registration of Ebonyi youths across the 13 local government areas of the state that were misled into Biafra agitation by the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
Barrister Uchenna Orji, state Commissioner for Economic Empowerment and Job Creation, gave the information in Abakaliki while briefing newsmen on the activities of the administration in the area of youth empowerment.
He stressed that the state government apart from pursuing the action plan of making the repentant IPOB members economically independent, the initiative would also help in reducing social vices and other forms of criminality currently plaguing the society.
The commissioner who stated that the state government had extended its empowerment schemes to Ebonyi youths in other states of the federation including Sokoto, Kaduna, Anambra and Lagos added that over 3,000 youths had so far been empowered in the state.
He disclosed that the state government was set to create 12,000 jobs through the empowerment of 3000 youths, including women as they were being given N250, 000 each to start up any business of their choice, so that they would become economically self-reliant.
Orji further added that the reason for the numerous empowerment programmes of the Governor David Umahi-administration was to increase the per capital income of Ebonyi citizens and ensure the boosting of the economic status of the state.
“These IPOB youths are being registered in the Department of Education and Social Welfare in the LGAs; after their capturing, the state government will create a programme to train them and empower them in their chosen career which we have started. Those of them that have taken to the streets due to lack of job will be empowered so that they can be useful and meaningful to the society. Those who are living and staying outside the state are equally undergoing our empowerment programmes,” he stated.
He called on other members of the proscribed separatist group who have not been captured to quickly do so.