Youth Groups Endorse NDDC’s Project HOPE

… Pass Vote of Confidence on NDDC MD Chief Samuel Ogbuku

By Martins Ogolo

Several youth groups across the Niger Delta region have endorsed the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Holistic Opportunity Projects of Engagement (HOPE). This was done during a robust engagement between Project HOPE handlers and all youth bodies in the Niger Delta Region.

Ambassador Blessing Fubara, who is the resource consultant of the Holistic Opportunity Projects of Engagement (HOPE), while making a presentation to the various youth representatives, said, “First, we must appreciate the sincerity of Dr. Samuel Ogbuku-led NDDC board for keying into our idea and showing willingness to fund it 100%. The idea for Project HOPE was birthed based on the need to turn around the fortunes of Niger Delta youths and engage them with meaningful activities so as to change the narratives and mindset of people who see Niger Delta youths as militants and misfits. What we started with was getting a database of every youth in the Niger Delta region, to ensure we know what each can do and see what suits who.”

He further opined, “Project HOPE covers several areas of human capital development, ranging from agriculture, science and technology, fish farming, vocational skills, and creative arts. It will interest you to know we have secured at least 100 hectares of land in the nine states of the Niger Delta region. We intend to go into full-scale mechanized farming and are projecting to employ at least 1,000 persons per state, which means 9,000 persons in the whole of Niger Delta. This is achievable because agriculture, though mechanized, will still need physical manpower at different stages.”

He further explained, “For the fish farming, we will procure large fishing vessels and employ Niger Delta youths to man and manage them. For science and technology, we will train youths between 6-9 months with globally accepted tech skills and set up tech hubs in each state in the region. When we approached the Rivers State Government, they graciously approved a property for us to set up the tech center because they know the importance of technology. A lot of the artists keep migrating to Lagos because of the market and enabling environment. We did a survey and several consultations with IPMAN and came to the conclusion that the solution will be to set up entertainment villages where artists, producers, skit makers, and cinematographers will be trained and funded afterwards. This is because we want to touch every category of Niger Delta youths.”

Several youth groups, which include Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), Niger Delta Youth Movement (NDYM), and a host of others, took turns to endorse the current Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Chief Samuel Ogbuku, PhD, and the Holistic Opportunity Projects of Engagement (HOPE). They also promised to do all they can to ensure the project succeeds.

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