• Sunday, May 19, 2024
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NDDC says 470,000 youths captured on database

NDDC says 470,000 youths captured on database

The Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Samuel Ogbuku (PhD), has disclosed that 470,000 youths have been captured on its database. The CEO said development of the oil region would not begin well without accurate data to plan with.

He emphasised the importance of building the capacity of youths through strategic programmes as the Commission transits from transaction to transformation.

Ogbuku, who spoke during an interactive forum with opinion leaders and youth groups in the Niger Delta region in Port Harcourt, assured that the NDDC would continue to engage with relevant stakeholders to ensure the durability of its programmes and projects.

He informed the opinion leaders that the NDDC would henceforth meet with critical stakeholders on a quarterly basis to help in the formulation of the Commission’s overall strategies for the development of the Niger Delta region.

According to him: “Not until we give all our leaders, political, traditional, youths, women and other leaders in the Niger Delta that platform and opportunity to discuss what our future should be, we may not understand the direction that our people want to go.”

Ogbuku remarked that the NDDC has a duty to harness resources from different groups, noting: “We have gathered at this forum to hear from the youths; to interact with them and rub minds because we realise that we cannot be planning programmes for youths without involving them at the foundational level.

He said: “We have given more opportunities and hope to Niger Delta youths through our Holistic Opportunity Projects of Engagement, HOPE, meant to identify interests of the youths for skills training.

The NDDC boss said that the HOPE project had helped the Commission to develop a comprehensive digital repository, comprising important information about the youths of the Niger Delta region; including their qualifications, skills, interests, needs, and current employment status.

He went on: “So far, 470,000 youths have registered in the database and we will partner with youth organisations to ensure that all our youths are registered.”

Ogbuku remarked that the NDDC was working with the Niger Delta Chamber of Commerce in the training of youths and young entrepreneurs in the Niger Delta region. He explained that the Commission would collaborate with the Chamber of Commerce to support Small and Medium Enterprises in the region and ensure the sustainability of youth development programmes.

He talked of getting the Bank of Industry to sponsor projects in the region, and to hold a Niger Delta Stakeholders Summit where the youths must participate.

Ogbuku thus urged Niger Deltans not to allow politicians to destabilise the NDDC, as such action was bound to hinder the development and sow the seeds of discord among Niger Deltans.