BusinessDay

Group to build human capital development of 10,000 Niger Delta youths on post-petroleum economy

Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) says it is targeting to build the human capacity development of over 10,000 Niger Delta youths on post-petroleum economy by 2022.

Godwin Uyi Ojo, executive director of ERA/FoEN, made the disclosure at the 3rd edition of the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Youth Environmental Camp 2020 meeting in Benin City, Edo State.

Ojo said the youth human capacity development programme titled, ‘From Extraction to Education’ initiated in 2018 has so far empowered over 6,000 youths.

“As part of agitations and commitments to end fossil fuels dependence by divesting investments from oil and gas to research and development of the emerging renewable energy sector, the organisation in 2018 initiated a project titled ‘From Extraction to Education’ to empower youths in four states in the Niger Delta to focus on how to transit from the present carbonised economy to a decarbonised one,” he said.

According to him, the four states are Edo, Delta, Bayelsa and Rivers.

The project, ‘From Extraction to Education’ has since 2018 built human capital of over 6000 youths on how to develop business models, renewable energy entrepreneurship, repair and installation of solar gadgets and the fabrication of clean energy-saving cook stoves.

“Over 300 secondary school teachers have been trained and environment education and renewable energy manual were produced and deployed for the training in the over 60 renewable energy school clubs set up across the four states”, he said.

Ojo, who expressed optimism that the manual would translate to secondary schools curriculum to teach environmental education and renewable energy, added that over 150 youths would be mentored for leadership and a life time experience for social change during the 2020 camp meeting.

“Some of our trained youths are now solar energy experts and have produced three-in-one solar energy luminous lighting system, power bank and charging points,” he said.

“I am pleased to present some of the products and to introduce to this august gathering DaNJAB Enterprises, piloted by young secondary schools leavers from Edo State.

“Others include youths organising and training on videography and environmental field monitoring and the production of the maiden edition of the Earth Friends magazine by our promising youths”, he added.

While urging the youth to stand in the gap and see the climate change phenomenon as an opportunity to address a national and global problem, he, however, charged them to ensure that Nigeria will not be a dumping ground for sub-standard renewable energy gadgets.

In his goodwill message, Ahmed Bolaji Nagode, the director-general, National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN), said the agency in collaboration with ERA/FoEN trained 32 youths in 2019 on solar PV and in 2020 about 20 youths are also expected to be trained on the same solar PV.