• Tuesday, May 21, 2024
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BusinessDay

NDDC bails out grounded Rivers ICT Centre

NDDC builds new electricity substation in Edo

…plans to train 37,000 youths

The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) may have bailed out the grounded Rivers ICT Centre located on Aba Road opposite Pleasure Park.

The centre would be used to train some 37,000 youths who have registered for jobs under a database scheme being carried out by the commission.

The commission has inspected the centre for revamping, saying this would be executed in partnership with Rivers, the host state.

The ICT Centre was built by Zenith Bank and handed to the then Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi administration for use for training of Rivers youths in IT. This was the time the administration promoted the computer and information technology revolution.

The Nyesom Wike administration upped the game by appointing a special assistant (SA) ICT and used the centre to introduce coding and advanced IT and digitisation schemes. But the place went quiet while the state seemed to pump billions of naira in donations and other adventures plus heavy political spending.

Read also: NDDC, Britain to partner on renewable energy projects

Now, the NDDC says it wants to revamp the place and use it for the training of youths in partnership with the Rivers State government now led by Sim Fubara whose economic and high-tech policies are yet to become clear.

In a statement signed by Pius Ughakpoteni, the corporate affairs director of the NDDC, the commission said the centre would be used for training of youths under the ‘Holistic Opportunity Projects of Engagement’ (HOPE) project.

Speaking during an inspection of the ICT facility in Port Harcourt, the NDDC managing director, Samuel Ogbuku, said that the HOPE project would create jobs for the youths through strategic partnerships and skill development in the Niger Delta region.

He noted: “What we are experiencing today is the dawn of reality. We have gone beyond planning and we are now collaborating with the states, as key stakeholders, to bring Project HOPE to reality. We believe that this process is sustainable.”

Ogbuku, who was taken around the training facility by the director, Rivers State ICT Centre, Aleruchi Akani, pledged that the NDDC would ensure that the centre worked optimally.

He stated: “We believe that the project under the Project HOPE is more holistic and sustainable. What we are doing here is partnering with the Rivers State government to ensure that this ICT Centre is put into proper use. This centre will be used effectively because, through Project HOPE, we are looking at making the Niger Delta region a technology hub. Under Project HOPE, we are focusing on technology and agriculture.”

The NDDC boss thanked the Rivers State governor for approving the use of the ICT centre for the training of youths, pledging to upgrade the facility. He assured that the NDDC would replicate the training centre in all the nine states of the Niger Delta region.

He said: “One of our core visions is to make the Niger Delta a technology hub. This facility is going to complement such efforts. If we empower our youths in technology, it will further strengthen sustainable development. Tech is one of the core areas of Project HOPE, alongside agriculture, because it helps in job creation. The government cannot create jobs for everyone.”

Chisom Gbali, the commissioner for youth development in Rivers State, commended the NDDC for taking the initiative to partner with the government, noting that the efforts of the commission bode well for the future of youths in the Niger Delta region.

Earlier, Blessing Fubara, the resource person for Project HOPE, stated that 37,000 youths have registered since the commencement of the programme in August.