Mr Hope Uwaga, a Commissioner in Abia State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (ASOPADEC) has said that the government will engage about 300 youths to save guard petroleum pipelines across the state.
Uwaga said this on Monday at the second edition of his annual women empowerment initiative in Umuda Isingwu, Umuahia North Local Government Area.
He said the move was aimed at finding a lasting solution to incidents of vandalisation in the state in the recent time.
The commissioner said the programme would take off in January 2019, adding that trainees would undergo a three-month Shell Petroleum security training before posting them to the field.
He said “We are doing this to empower our youths and at the same time save our economy.
“We are starting off with about 300 youths in the state and we will be paying them on monthly basis.”
About 50 bags of rice and 100 pieces of wrapper were given to widows and less privileged women from 23 communities in Ohuhu.
According to him, the gesture was for the women at the grassroots to feel the impact of government.
“I believe that without women I won’t be where I am today. I try to feed and clothe them within this period so that they feel among in the society.
“Last year I did it at the level of Isingwu and I told them I was going to extend to Ohuhu as a whole, which is what I have done today,” Uwaga said.
He commended Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu for his visionary leadership in the state, saying that he made sure everybody felt the impact of his administration.
Uwaga urged the people to support Ikpeazu in his re-election bid come 2019, saying that the governor had really done well for him to come back.
Dr Aham Uko, the Commissioner for Environment, described Uwaga as a frontline exemplary leader who has genuine feeling of his people at heart. (NAN)