The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has articulated a 3-point agenda of capacity building, wealth creation and employment generation for the youths of the Niger Delta region. The action plan was announced recently by the NDDC Managing Director, Sir (Barr.) Bassey Dan-Abia, at the 1st Niger Delta Regional Youth Conference on Ethics and Value Re-Orientation, held at the Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt.
According to the Managing Director, the 3-point agenda for youths was significantly focused on deepening youth development and empowerment through re-orientation, rehabilitation and re-integration, to enable them contribute positively to the growth of the region.
He said: "It is my belief that when we develop and empower young people, we are bound to reduce crime and violence in the region, as well as the concomitance of kidnappings and vandalism of public infrastructure, especially oil installations, which is negatively affecting our economy toady."
Sir Dan-Abia said that the new action plan was a timely prescription to addressing the myriads of challenges faced by youths of the region with a view to creating a peaceful, secured and prosperous Niger Delta region for all. "We are of the view that sustainable youth development and empowerment that will unlock the potentials of young people is a must do," he said.
The NDDC boss stated that the youth conference was aimed at deepening development in the region with emphasis on raising world-class youths with the requisite skill and inventiveness to meet contemporary challenges in the oil-rich region.
He said that it was only through moral values and ethical re-orientation that we could achieve sustainable youth development and empowerment, noting that the philosophy of the conference was hinged on the bed-rock of a deep concern and the need for total re-orientation of youths of the region.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the NDDC Governing Board, Senator Bassey Ewa-Henshaw, said that the commission was putting a lot of emphasis on taking care of the youths of the Niger Delta. He observed that the youth conference was coming on the heels of 3-day retreat of the NDDC board and management held in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. "At the retreat, we agreed to change our strategy for service delivery. We also agreed to focus on wealth creation," he said.
Senator Ewa-Henshaw assured the youths that the commission would partner with them for appropriate training and mentorship. He said that the commission was determined to transform the Niger Delta in line with the development agenda of the President Goodluck Jonathan's administration.
Addressing the youths, the Special Adviser to the President on Ethics and Value Re-Orientation, Mrs. Sarah Jubril, said that they should lend themselves to change for the building of a better society. She advised them to be guided by good morals, adding that ethics was the key to an orderly human existence.
The Presidential Adviser charged Nigerian youths to always hold fast to the time-tested principles of life which were anchored on our ethics and culture, while shunning questionable foreign values. She warned: "Foreign countries should stop trying to force Nigeria to accept homosexuality which is against natural principles."