Professor Claudius Daramola, the Minister of State for Niger Delta, reaffirms the Federal Government’s commitment to empower youths in the oil-producing region by training them in various vocational skill acquisition.
He revealed this while speaking to News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday October 2, 2016, in the Nigeria’s capital, Abuja. According to him the training is hinged on creating employment to non-militant youths.
According to the Professor of Sociology of Education, the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs is at the moment undertaking an agreement with a group of interventionists that will train the youths in the region, which will be done in partnership with the Ministry of Youths and Sports.
He said work opportunities will be provided within and outside Nigeria. He further revealed that, a certain communication company has requested for the right of way for laying of Broad Brand Optic Fibre Cabel in the region,
” We are discussing with the state governments in the nice oil producing states. Different parcels of land have been acquired in the various states, ranging from 250 hectares in each state for the establishment of industries cum investments hubs as integrated new towns.”
He said discussion has open with state governments ” on the setting up of all purpose vehicles”.
Professor Daramola also said the Ministry is in talk with the government of Imo State on how to use its Skills Acquisition Centre, which is still under construction for a technical vocational institution.
The State Government, according to him, has agreed to complete the Centere after the terms of collaboration has been defined.
As regards the number of youths to undergo the vocational training, the Minister noted that about 64 youths had been trained on agriculture, with the second batch still on course in collaboration with Scotchville Industrial Consortium, Poly Consult in the Polytechnic of Ibadan, Oyo State.
He observed that youth empowerment was a fundamental objective of the post-amnesty programme of the Federal Government.
He said the Niger Delta region and the country, at large, will benefit from the skills acquired by the youths
Professor Daramola said training would be conducted for the beneficiaries at credible agricultural and research institutions in Nigeria like Afe Babalol University in Ekiti State.
Furthermore, he dismissed the trend of training youths outside Nigeria as uneconomical and waste of resources, as money used to train 50 youths outside Nigeria will be enough to train 200 youths within the country.
According to NAN since the inception of the Ministry, more that 5,000 non-militant youths in the region have been trained in various skills ranging from oil and gas, agriculture, seafaring, maritime engineering and information and communication technology, including iPad and telephone assemblage.
The Minister of State further stated that the Centres in Akwa Ibom and Delta States will focus on oil and gas, ICT and maritime studies while the centres in Abia and Imo will train youths in commerce; the one in Cross River will focus on entertainment and tourism; and finally, Ondo State’s centre will concentrate on agriculture.
Meanwhile the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani, stated that the ministry was working towards bring all the centres on stream.
Recall that there has been renewed restiveness and militancy since the APC-led government took over, where oil pipelines and other oil installations are targeted by militants.
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