The Governing Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), has approved the training of 100 young men and women in Automobile Technology at an indigenous car manufacturing company, Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Group as part of its skills acquisition programme.
Chairman of the board, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, disclosed this when he led a delegation from NDDC to visit the Innoson factory at Nnewi, Anambra State.
He was accompanied by the Delta State Representative on the NDDC Board, Dr Ogaga Ifowodo, NDDC Director- Agriculture and Fisheries, Mr Marcel Eshiogu, among others.
Ndoma-Egba affirmed that the NDDC Board had in its first meeting this year approved a visit to the factory and the Innoson Kiara Academy, a Technical and Vocational Institution established by an international consulting firm in partnership with Innoson Group, for training in different aspects of Automobile Maintenance.
He said that the NDDC would soon select 100 young men and women from the region to undergo the training to boost their skills, stressing the importance of manpower development.
The Chairman said, “We believe that the real resource of any country is not its minerals but the young men and women of the country. However, they remain a resource only if they are trained, skilled and engaged.
“If they are not trained, skilled or engaged, instead of being a resource, they will become a curse. We don’t want our young men and women to be a curse. We prefer that they are resources, so that they can contribute their own quota to the development of the Niger Delta region.”
Ndoma-Egba commended the Chairman of Innoson Group, Chief Innocent Chukwuma, for his faith and belief in Nigeria.
He said, “We are highly impressed with what you have done. It is not just the facilities but the spirit behind what you have done. If we have a few more Nigerians with your level of believe in this country, we will be better off. Siting this massive investment in your community is a mark of faith not just in your people but also in your country.
“You have shown that industrialising Nigeria is possible. We keep talking about local content, See what you have done, bringing expatriates here to help us meet global standards. After taking a ride in one of your buses, I believe that the products from your factory are world class.”
The NDDC Chairman stated that the Commission was interested in the training Niger Delta youths, just like the Presidential Amnesty Programme, which was already sponsoring the training of 200 students at the Innoson Academy.
He assured that the NDDC would support Innoson Motors, wondering why governments at different levels would not patronise locally manufactured or assembled vehicles. “That is the only way we can encourage our local industries. So, NDDC will be at the vanguard of this effort,” he pledged.
Addressing the 200 students sponsored by the Amnesty Programme, at the training centre in Nnewi, the NDDC Chairman charged them to make maximum use of the opportunity, noting that the skills they acquire would empower them to be useful to themselves and to the society.
He told them that the acquisition of skills was meant to give them dignity and keep them away from destructive militancy, observing that militancy should be for positive goals. He explained: “I am a militant for development, knowledge and dignity.”
The Executive Chairman of Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Company, Chief Chukwuma, said that the kind remarks of the NDDC Chairman would energise and encourage his company to put in more efforts in the quest to industrialise Nigeria.
He declared, “We intend to open small factories in different parts of the Niger Delta to among other things, employ those who have successfully gone through our trainings. I have challenged the trainees to put in their best efforts because Innoson will offer them automatic employment in our factories.”