National News

730 Niger Delta youths to be trained in 2018, says minister

No fewer than 730 youths from the Niger Delta region would be trained in various skill acquisition programme of the Federal Government in 2018.

The effort is said to be in the government bid to increase the human capital development in the country as well as check agitations and unrest in the country.

The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr Usani Uguru Usani made the disclosure in Ibadan at the weekend during the graduation of 25 youths from Niger Delta under the empowerment training of the ministry by Siegener Sabithos Nigeria Limited, held at the Chief M.A Adesiyan conference hall, Alumni Centre, University of Ibadan.

The 25 youths were trained on fish production, information communication technology, business development and entrepreneurial skill within few weeks in Ibadan.

Represented by the Director of Economic Empowerment, Ministry of Niger Delta, Alhaji Ibrahim Akanya, the minister said the empowerment is not only a means to fast track development but also to actualise the Presidents human capital development programmes.

His words, “This empowerment programme is not only means of fast tracking development of the entire region, but one of the ways to actualise Mr President’s human capital development programme.

“President Muhammadu Buhari believes that in addition to infrastructure, human capital development is quite vital and essential for a nation. Most of the crises we have in Nigeria today is as a result of neglect of human capital development.

“This, President Buhari said cannot continue. So, he has directed all the ministries as a matter of urgency to put in their annual capital budget the issue of human capital development and that is why we came up with this programme of economic empowerment at the Ministry of Niger Delta programme.

“We have it before the present administration but it was energised when President Buhari came in. He put a lot of impetus-fund into it, actually organise it. As I am telling you this year alone, the Ministry of Niger Delta alone will be training about 730 youths under the 2017 budget, not to talk of 2018 budget that is yet to be passed.

“About 180 are graduating today in Calabar; by next Wednesday another 90 youths will be graduating from Calabar axis again, then by Monday about 205 women and youths will be commencing another training here in Ibadan, Oyo state, specifically at The Polytechnic, Ibadan. In Imo, about 105 graduated from the same programme last week. That is to tell you how the present administration is committed to human capital development.

“The essence of the programme is that the restiveness we have in the Niger Delta and recently, in the North East is nothing other than neglect of human capital. If we have to arrest this situation, we have to develop human being along that line,” Uguru stated.

In his short remarks, the state Commissioner for Information, Culture, Mr Toye Arulogun urged the participants to make judicious use of the knowledge and opportunity availed them by the programme.

Arulogun commended the Federal Government for the initiative, noting that it shows that the government is concerned about the future of the youths of the state, the country.

Earlier, the Chief Consultant, Siegener Sabithos Nigeria Limited, Dr Tunde Kelani, who lauded the initiative of the Federal Government charged the graduating youths to replicate whatever they might have benefited in their communities and promote the scheme.

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