One Million Youths Sign Up for Project HOPE

Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Dr. Samuel Ogbuku, has announced that more than one million youths from the Niger Delta region have registered on the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, youth empowerment programme platform, tagged Holistic Opportunities Programme of Engagement, Project HOPE; noting that the programme was part of the NDDC policy of transiting from transaction to transformation, which emphasises transparency and accountability.

Dr. Ogbuku, who disclosed this recently, in an interview with newsmen at the commission’s headquarters in Port Harcourt, hinted that this second phase of the programme would kick-off in the first week of June, following the conclusion of the first phase, which had seen the registration of over one million youths in the data base.

According to him, the second phase which comprises of trainings in agriculture, technology, entrepreneurship, internship and marine, would be heralded by the on-boarding of communities that have donated land for the agricultural scheme of Project HOPE.

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He, revealeld that the Commission was partnering with the Niger Delta Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Trade, Mines and Agriculture, NDCCITMA, in the training of youths and young entrepreneurs in the Niger Delta region; assuring that the collaboration would ensure the sustainability of youth development programmes.

He, further said that the chamber of commerce
would work in conjunction with the bank of industry to support future training Programmes.

“This database will serve as a plank for data-driven planning, enabling the formulation of impactful policies and programmes targeted at the youths.

“We encourage more persons to register because we want to ensure that our future engagements with youths will be based only on those who have registered with us in the database. That will enable us to know their areas of competence, because we discovered that our previous trainings were given to friends and family members who are probably not even interested in the training.

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“We have given more opportunities and hope to Niger Delta youths through our Project HOPE, meant to identify interests of the youths for skills training. The programme has helped us to develop a comprehensive digital repository, comprising important information about the youths of the Niger Delta region; including their qualifications, skills, interests, needs, and current employment status”, Ogbuku stated.

The commission’s Executive Director, Projects and the Chairman of Project HOPE Implementation Committee, Sir Victor Antai, who stated that the programme had been translated from vision to reality, assured that the HOPE initiative is real, sustainable and the database in place will not only be used to select the right persons, but will checkmate their progress; explaining that the essence of the technology, is to ensure that nobody gets enlisted into the programme by “who no who” methods.

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In her own view, the resource person for Project HOPE, Mr. Blessing Fubara, affirmed that the second phase of the programme would commence with six quick impact action specimens, such as the Music and Art sector.

By Aligwe Stella, P/H