The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, is designing new capacity building programmes that will help youths and women of the Niger Delta region become gainfully employed.
Speaking during a leadership dialogue and town hall meeting for women and youths in the region in Port Harcourt, the Acting Managing Director of the NDDC, Professor Nelson Brambaifa, said this was important in order to give them a greater sense of purpose as leaders of tomorrow.
According to a statement by the Commission, the NDDC Chief Executive Officer, represented by the Director of Youths, Sports, Culture and Women Affairs, Prince W. Alazigha, affirmed that the new Executive Management of the NDDC was ready and eager to properly address matters relating to women and youths.
“For effective result in this regard,” he said, “it was necessary to create a platform for the Commission to interact with this critical segment of the society from time to time. We will be having these sessions periodically, so that the youths will properly express their desires.”
He added: “This is important because good planning should begin with needs assessment and you cannot be planning for people without hearing from them. We have new programmes that will be introduced soon to equip the youths for future challenges. In the same vein, we will strengthen existing programmes such as the NDDC Youth Volunteer Scheme.”
The NDDC boss underscored the importance of youths towards the socio-economic and political development of any country, assuring that the new Executive Management was determined more than ever before to initiate programmes that would ensure that young people were properly trained and empowered.
Prof. Brambaifa said that youths constitute a very important segment of the society, noting, however, that they were vulnerable because of unemployment challenges. He remarked that the NDDC had since inception mounted various skill acquisition programmes to train the youths of the Niger Delta region.
According to the Acting MD, the NDDC would continue to establish different schemes for the training and empowerment of the youths of the Niger Delta to ensure that they were gainfully engaged in meaningful and economically beneficial ventures.
Speaking on Peace and Sustainable Development in the Niger Delta, Prof. Steve Okodudu, from the University of Port Harcourt, warned of the dangers of riding on the wings of what he termed the “spirit of entitlement.”
He reminded the youths that petroleum resources in the Niger Delta was finite and should not be seen as an exclusive inheritance.
The Professor of Sociology advised the NDDC to expose the youths to world class trainings by bringing international organisations to train them in Nigeria and award certificates that would be recognised globally, rather than taking them abroad which entailed huge financial costs.