"No year passes without elders and widows party in Ebonyi"

  Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State.

Ndubisi Itumo writes on Governor  David Umahi's style of administration, noting that, no year has passed without elders and widows party in Ebonyi State since the governor assumed office.

Read him: 

Age dependency ratio is defined as the ratio of dependents(people younger than 15 or older than 64 years) to the working-age population(those between the ages 15-64) as the case maybe.

But with the increasing wave of unemployment, retrenchment and even underemployment in different parts of the world, Nigeria not an exception, the number of dependents keep increasing geometrically. 

The development to say the obvious portends great danger.

A critical examination of the above age ranges shows that, children, youths and the aged constitute the dependents in any society.

Aside the above categories, there are others who are regarded as dependents in this clime.
They are the less privileged, widows and orphans.

Taking cognizance of the above fact, the Governor David Nweze Umahi led administration in Ebonyi state fashioned out programmes that can carter for them in the state.

Such programmes or measures are such that could take the youths off crime, carter for the less privileged members of the society, the widows and orphans, and as well elongate the life span of the elderly ones.

They are programmes that have given them sense of belonging too.

For the children and the youths, there is a free and compulsory education in the state right from Primary to Secondary School levels.

There is School and Moral Evangelism programme, where they are led through the rungs of societal codes, ethics and etiquettes.

There is a newly introduced *reward system* courtesy of the state Ministry of Education whereby secondary school leavers who made up to eight 'Alphas' are earmarked to be motivated for greater productivity.

More so, the youths are encouraged to take good advantage of Ebonyi State Vocational College located in Ochudo Centenary City by learning skills that would take them off crime and the streets.

The idea of youth mentorship programme of His Excellency the Governor whereby youths are offered political appointments to understudy those ahead of them is also another platform through which, the rate of dependency in the state is being reduced to its barest minimum.

Sustainable youths empowerment programmes have continued been the routine of the current government in the state since its inception in 2015.

Most interestingly, the 3 billion naira Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) fund for thousands of youths to be drawn from the 13 Local Government Areas of the state is indeed a laudable approach at reducing dependency, as well as crime wave.

The fund which is an aftermath of deliberation amongst critical stakeholders vis-à-vis the recent nationwide #endsars protest is hoped by the state government to produce thousands of millionaires in the years ahead.

In that light, Online Application  forms  have been  designed, to be released  from Monday, 16th November,  2020 , to enable interested Ebonyi youths  apply  for this fund and better their lots.

On the other hand, the Umahi led government has stretched its hands of fellowship and love to the aged and widows in the state.

These are people who were seemingly forgotten prior to this moment, but currently included in the scheme of things.

No year passes without ELDERS AND WIDOWS PARTY in the state. The party brings alive the conviviality in our aged fathers and mothers including widows, it makes for a tête-a-tete between His Excellency the Governor and them as they usually interact, dance and merry together. 

Such parties also serve as veritable platform for offer of life-changing gift items to them.

This has gone a long away creating rapport, love and above all added years to their lives.

In as much as the above programmes of the state government are being commended, there are still rooms for improvements.

There are still rooms for introduction of more sustainable and life-enriching programmes.

Just like Oliver in Charles Dickens' eponymous novel, "Oliver Twist" would plead, the youths and indeed the entirety of Ebonyians need some more.

Assessing the developmental efforts of  the current government in the state so far, one would simply aver that Government Umahi has gone the whole hog at ensuring a viable and productive society_away from the usual dependent and consumption based society and therefore needs a pat on the back to do more.

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