The NDDC Director, Agriculture and Fishery, Mrs. Winifred Madume, (left) giving an update on Project HOPE at the Commission’s headquarters in Port Harcourt. In the middle is the Resource Person for Project HOPE, Ambassador Blessing Fubara, while the NDDC Director, Commercial and Industrial Development, Dr. Godwin Nosiri, is on the right.
The 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).
Mrs. Winnifred Madume, the Commission’s Director, Agriculture and Fisheries, made this disclosure while addressing newsmen on the progress made on the youth empowerment scheme at the NDDC headquarters in Port Harcourt.
She further stated that another batch of 185 supervisors were being trained for the programme.
Madume said that over one hundred thousand youths of Niger Delta region had 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 explained that 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. Such data, she said, would provide a parameter for youth employment generation, empowerment, and capacity development in the region.
Assuring that the NDDC would do everything necessary, including providing logistic support, to ensure the success of the programme, she urged young people in the Niger Delta region to take advantage of the HOPE initiative.
Giving more updates on the programme, Dr. Godwin Nosiri, the NDDC Director, Commercial and Industrial Development, said that the scheme would address youth restiveness in the Niger Delta region by building a solid base for sustainable peace.
He remarked 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.
Nosiri 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.
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.
He expressed confidence that the programme would create many job opportunities, noting that some state governments had already made land available for the project.
Fubara observed that the HOPE project was coming after so many years of poorly planned and mismanaged skill acquisition programmes executed in the region.
He said that the scheme provided a platform on which youths of the region would benefit and make visible progress, stating that the selection process for the programme was transparent, as it was based entirely on computer-generated data.