NDDC launches HOPE initiative to create 1,000 jobs per Niger Delta state

Port Harcourt—The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has announced the launch of a new initiative to empower the youth of the region.

The initiative christened “HOPE” stands for Holistic Opportunity Projects of Engagement, and it aims to create 1,000 jobs per Niger Delta state through strategic partnerships and skill development.

Speaking at the flag-off of the project on Wednesday, July 12, 2023, the MD/CEO of NDDC, Dr. Samuel Ogbuku said: “Today marks a new dawn in the NDDC because we are kicking off project HOPE to touch the lives of youths in the Niger Delta. It is holistic because it will be all-encompassing and sustainable.

“We encourage every youth in the Niger Delta to take advantage of this program and register through the database because this is a new approach that conforms with the present-day realities.

“Every Niger Deltan, entrepreneur, man, and woman is encouraged to register and take advantage of this opportunity.”

Ogbuku also explained that the initiative is a response to the recent uprising of the youths of the region, who expressed their demands for empowerment, jobs, and concerns.

He said NDDC held an interactive forum with the youths, where they discussed their needs, measures, and recommendations to address them.

According to Ogbuku, the initiative will develop an exhaustive digital repository comprising vital information about the youth of the Niger Delta region, including their qualifications, skills, interests, needs, and current employment status.

He said the database will serve as a plank for data-driven planning, enabling the formulation of impactful policies and programs targeted at the youth.

The Executive Director, Projects, Mr. Charles Ogunmola, stated that HOPE will offer targeted skill development initiatives, foster collaborations with local and international organizations, and promote sustainable development.

He noted that the initiative would encourage a culture of transparency, thereby enhancing trust between the commission and the Niger Delta communities.

Ogunmola also outlined the implementation strategy of HOPE, which will take place in two phases, adding that the initial phase will involve developing, designing, and deploying a digital platform that will enable data collection, analysis, and policy formation for NDDC.

He said the succeeding phase would see data population, employment creation, and regional industrialization through Public-Private Partnership (PPP) models.

Ogunmola expressed his optimism that it will bring transformative benefits to the region, providing a holistic understanding of the skills, aspirations, and requirements of the Niger Delta youth population and effectively and promptly combat youth unemployment.

The duo who further invited the region’s youths to register their skills and interests on the HOPE website, assured them they would be matched with suitable job opportunities.

They also appealed to the public and private sector to support the initiative by providing employment opportunities for the youths while noting that it is a visionary scheme that will change the narrative of the Niger Delta region from one of agitation and unrest to peace and prosperity.

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