Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has trained 185 collation officers across the nine states of the Niger Delta region to create awareness in the rural communities for its youth development scheme, tagged: Holistic Opportunity Projects of Engagement (HOPE).
The NDDC’s director of agriculture and fisheries, Mrs Winifred Madume, who disclosed this while briefing newsmen at the commission’s headquarters in Port Harcourt, said another batch of 185 supervisors were being trained for the programme.
Madume stated that over 1,000 youths of Niger Delta region have so far registered in the first phase of the HOPE project, noting that the second phase would focus on engaging the youths for training in various industrial skills.
She said the empowerment programme was designed to create a comprehensive database of the youth population of the Niger Delta to determine their needs, qualifications, skills, passion, interests, and employment status.
The director stated that such data would provide a parameter for youth employment generation, empowerment, and capacity development in the region.
She assured that the NDDC would do everything necessary, including providing logistic support, to ensure the success of the programme and urged young people in the Niger Delta region to take advantage of the HOPE initiative.
Giving more updates on the programme, the NDDC’s director, Commercial and Industrial Development, Dr Godwin Nosiri, said that the scheme would address youth restiveness in the Niger Delta region by building a solid base for sustainable peace.
Nosiri stated that the scheme was meant to empower the youths with legitimate livelihood means, in line with their educational qualifications, skills, among others with the view to giving them opportunities to attain economic independence.
He affirmed that Project HOPE, would create 1,000 jobs in each state of the Niger Delta region by securing sustainable international and local partnerships for the establishment of agriculture-based industries, training opportunities and overall youth engagement, which would be supported by community, government and corporate partnerships in land acquisition for the project.
In his remarks, the resource person for project HOPE, Ambassador Blessing Fubara, stated that the empowerment programme would focus on commercial agriculture, information and communication technology, ICT, music and arts project, to encourage the creative industry, among others.
Fubara expressed confidence that the programme would create many job opportunities, noting that some state governments had already made land available for the project.