17th August, 2010
The Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Mr. Chibuzor Ugwoha has identified the proliferation of youth groups in the Niger Delta Region as a major challenge in actualizing the Commissionâ€™s mandate on youth development.
Ugwoha, who was represented by the Director, Youth, Sports, Culture and Women, Dr. Princewill Ekanim, stated this during this yearâ€™s anniversary celebration of the International Youth Day in Port Harcourt.
He stressed that the emergence of these portfolio youth groups was a major threat to nation building and democratic culture which the country is trying to entrench.
NDDC,Â he said, will work out an understanding with the youths to bring all the groups under one administrative umbrella body to provide a common platform for mutual understanding, team building and engender mutual trust.
â€œFor us in NDDC, we are directing our effort towards preparing youths to be adequately capable of facing the challenges of youthfulness through re-orientation and re-conscientization programme as well as preparing them for gainful employment and significant leadership and citizenship roles in the national socio-political and economic development,â€ he said.
According to him, the commissionâ€™s skills development policy for youths will focus on labour market integration, while the capacity building policy will focus on wealth creation, growing of private sector and employment generation by providing access to finance and business development within the region.
â€œThis will accelerate formation of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEâ€™s) which will create jobs, reduce unemployment and improve the general living conditions of young people,â€ Ugwoha said.
He promised that the Commission will abolish all practices and actions that have hitherto proved counter-productive, while measures such as standby payments and palliative contracts will be replaced with legitimate contracts with real contents and enforceable conditions and respect to the rule of law.
This yearâ€™s International Youth Day has as its theme: â€œDialogue and Mutual Understandingâ€, to commemorate the 10th anniversary of NDDC as adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations resolution 54/120 of 1999.
â€”Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt