The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) said its newly launched Project Hope will create jobs for about 10,000 indigent youths, women and entrepreneurs in the Niger Delta.
The NDDC Managing Director, Dr. Samuel Ogbuku, announced the plan during the launch of the project at the commission’s headquarters in Port Harcourt on Wednesday.
He said the Holistic Opportunity Projects of Engagement, christened “Project Hope’’, would create about 1,000 jobs for each of the nine Niger Delta states.
Ogbuku said: “Today marks a new dawn for youths of the Niger Delta with the launch of Project Hope that seeks to turnaround NDDC’s Youth Development and Empowerment Programme.
“We decided to launch this project considering that over the years NDDC has invested lots of funds to impact on the lives of youths that cannot be accounted for.
“Project Hope aims to provide a database that will streamline our programmes into one platform to engage youths, women and entrepreneurs of the region.
“So, this project will create 10,000 jobs with at least 1,000 jobs created in each of the nine Niger States in the areas of agro-allied and Information Technology, among others.”
Ogbuku said that once the youths are registered on the database, the platform would enable the commission to know their interests and needs.
He said knowing the preferences of the youths would enable the NDDC to streamline its empowerment programmes to suit their needs.
“To this end, we will no longer go about nominating people to benefit from our training programmes as we will only pick from the database.
“For example, if we want to train welders, then we will go to the database to pick those whose interests are welding. So, nobody needs to know anybody to benefit.
“The database will eliminate political interest in the area of nominations while giving every youth equal opportunity to obtain support from the NDDC and government.
“Also, this programme will help eliminate the past practice of youths benefitting in our programmes multiple times. But now, once you’ve been engaged, it will be recorded in our database,” he added.
The managing director advised NDDC vendors who always brought arbitrary empowerment programmes and proposals to the commission to key into Project Hope.
Winifred Madume, Director, Skills Development and Empowerment, said the scheme would empower the youth with legitimate means of livelihood with reference to their educational qualifications, skills and interests.
According to her, the selection process will be handled transparently to ensure the commission’s employment generation and industrialisation drive is achieved.
On his part, the facilitator of the project, Blessing Fubara, said the database would provide the parameters for employment generation, youth empowerment and capacity development in the Niger Delta.