Views and Impact of Youth Empowerment Programme (YEP)
“The programme outh Empowerment Programme (YEP) had a very positive impact on the lives of many of the youth in the community. My son, Paul Opuama, was a very stubborn and disobedient person who drinks too much. He also has only secondary school certificate at the time of the programme. However, after the mindset change programme, I noticed remarkable change in Paul. He went to PTI with sponsorship from UNDP to study Welding and Fabrication at the Petroleum Training Institute (PTI) under the YEP. After graduation, he came back to the community and establish up a block-making industry. Paul later got married, built a house, and had just bought a car, all thanks to the Youth Empowerment Programme”. - Apostle Opuama (former Community Trust Chairman, Ughoton Community.
YEP beneficiaries from Ughoton community include Jeremiah Bajere who studied Petroleum Engineering and is now working with Lovenel Dredging Company in Ughoton, Isaac Okeregbe who studied Electrical and Electronics and is working with a contractor in Port Harcourt. Faith Ofamala and Christopher Ejoh who both studied Heath Safety and Environment at PTI had decided to back to school to continue their education, while Susan Bisan Ufoma, who studied Catering and Hotel Management, is now a primary school teacher at Williams Academy in Ughoton. It is interesting to note that all these students had only secondary school certificate before the Youth Empowerment Programme.
- YEP is a mindset changing programme that has changed good number of youths in Niger-Delta region.
- This project has helped in controlling the crises in Niger Delta by engaging idle youths to meaningful jobs.
- This programme has created an avenue for poverty reduction in Niger-Delta region.
- The project was co-funded by both UNDP, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and Delta State government.
YEP beneficiaries from Ubeji include Betsy Ejejigbe. Before the YEP, Betsy was a school dropout who had gained admission to Delta State University, Abraka but couldn’t attend the school because her parents could not afford to pay her school fees. She initially participated in the YEP because according to her, ‘it was better than nothing’. However, it was through the YEP that she rekindled her passion for acting during the mindset change programme when the students were involved in drama production titled The Scent of Crude. She went on to study Health, Safety and Environment at PTI with sponsorship from UNDP. She did her industrial attachment at Nigeria Gas Company. After the mandatory 3 month industrial attachment, she and other YEP students who were in Nigeria Gas Company requested for an extension of the industrial attachment. The students ended up spending one year of extended industrial attachment at Nigeria Gas Company. After Nigeria Gas Company, Betsy joined the Nigeria Guild of Actors as location scout and actress. Bawo Mayuku, another YEP beneficiary from Ubeji who studied Electrical and Electronics at PTI under YEP is now working at the Nigeria Gas Company. Stanley Wilikie, who studied Electrical and Electronics at PTI under YEP, is a member of Ubeji community electrical verification committee. Favour Erikpara, who studied Welding and Fabrication at PTI under YEP is now a manager of a filling station in Warri.
YEP beneficiary from Bolo’uama is Akpomano Joseph. Akpomano Joseph studied Electrical and Electronics at PTI under the YEP. He and another YEP beneficiary, Faith Jombo (who studied Plumbing and Pipefitting) did their industrial attachment with the zonal office of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in Warri. After the mandatory 3-month industrial attachment, they requested for an extension of the industrial attachment for additional six months. After the industrial attachment, Akpomano Joseph got a job as a ‘casual staff’ electrician at the Escravos Gas-To-Liquid (EGTL) project.
“The programme (YEP) had a very positive impact on the lives of many of the youths in Egbokodo. Some of them, who before the programme were ‘liabilities’ on themselves and the community, were able to make something positive with their lives. People like Tuoyo Diamond, Rita Kingsway, Eko Progress, and Emmanuel Odey had all gone back to school to continue their education. Other people like Victor Sholuwa and Samuel Uroye are running their own businesses. Toriseju Ewetan is now working as a PTI staff, while Helen Bomele is now working at Forbless filling station in Egbokodo. So, you see, this could not have been possible without the YEP”. – Canaan Ajagbawa, Egbokodo Community Trust Chairman.
After the graduation of the trainees in June 2011, and as part of the student industrial working experience scheme (SIWES), UNOPS, in collaboration with PTI Consultancy Services, deployed all the YEP trainees to various institutions and companies for a 3-month industrial work experience. The YEP trainees conducted the mandatory 3-month industrial attachment at Petroleum Training Institute (PTI), Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Warri Refining & Petrochemical Company Limited (WRPC), Nigeria Gas Company (NGC), Wellington Hotel, Little Paradise Hotel & Suites, Noregha Hotel and Mimi Suites.
YEP students working at PTI as ‘contract staff’ are Monday Oghenebrokie (Instructor Assistant, Mechanical Craft Department) from Ohorhe community; Mathias Omamujevwe (Instructor Assistant, Electrical and Electronics Department) from Ohorhe community; Peres Aghagha (Instructor Assistant, Mechanical Craft Department) from Okerenkoko community; Toritseju Ewetan (Engineering and Technical Services) from Egbokodo community; and Stanley Okito (Instructor Assistant, Welding and Fabrication Department) from Ebrumede community.
“To me, the mindset change programme was a turning point in my life. Before the training, I was aimless community youth without a future. I was always angry and frustrated. However, during the mindset change training, I learnt anger management and was able to use this knowledge to relate with the other trainees. I was also able to transfer this knowledge to the Amnesty Programme trainees at PTI”. - Monday Oghenebrokie, Instructor Assistant, PTI.
“I have never dreamt that I will ever get a job anywhere, especially in a reputable institution like PTI. Now I am an instructor assistant in the Electrical and Electronics department, where I am using the skills I have acquired during the YEP to teach other youth. Glory be to God!” – Mathias Omamujevwe, Instructor Assistant, PTI.
Toritseju Ewetan was born on July 24, 1979 at Egbokodo-Itsekiri, Delta State. She attended Ajaokuta Primary School in Kogi State and Ozuola Grammar School, in Edo State. Due to her sterling performance as a YEP student at PTI, she was employed as a contract staff in the Engineering & Technical Services Department (ETSD) at the Petroleum Training Institute after her graduation. She is married and has two children; Oritsetserunded Precious Atukeke and Omayemi Gracious Atukeke.
Faith Kpenfe was born on April 10, 1983 at Okerenkoko, a riverine community in Warri Southwest, Delta State. She attended Bright College, Warri. Faith Kpenfe is the only female YEP student in the Welding and Fabrication Department at the Petroleum Training Institute. She did her industrial attachment at Zika Oluba Welding and Fabrication Company, Effurun, Delta State. After her graduation she got employment as a fabricator at Global West Vessel Specialist, Lagos-Nigeria, a major contractor with NIMASA.