Training programmes that would ensure job creation for youths and women across the Niger Delta is set to be established by the Niger Delta Development Corporation NDDC. The Managing Director of the NDDC Nsima Ekere revealed the plans of the agency at the flag –off ceremony of the 6th Empowerment Support Initiative ESI in collaboration with the NDDC Skills Acquisition Training for the Niger Delta youths in Owerri, Imo State.

Represented by the NDDC Director of Projects Engineer Samuel Adjogbe the NDDC Managing Director Nsima Ekere disclosed that more than 5000 youths and women from the Niger Delta will benefit from a massive skill acquisition programme starting from the first quarter of this year in all the nine states of the Niger Delta region.

This initiative is a follow up to the establishment of Nigeria’s first biggest enterprise innovation and growth hub which is a product of collaboration between NDDC and Small and MediumEnterprises Development Enterprises SMEDAN as well as with the Builders Hub Impact investment Programme BHIIP.

The enterprise hub is billed to effectively start operation very soon even as Ekere promised that all modalities have been put in place to enable the programme to succeed. He reeled out the benefits of the programme to include the creation of thousands of jobs for the teeming unemployed youths, tackling the menace of unemployment in the region thereby eliminating militancy and restiveness.

Ekere re-iterated the marching order given to the management of the commission by President Buhari that all Niger Delta Youths and women be gainfully employed and empowered for a sustainable livelihood. The four-week training in partnership with ESI according to Ekere is to galvanise the construction industry in Nigeria and improve the finishing touches in homes and offices in Nigeria.

According to Ekere “The skill gap in the quality finishing of homes, offices and other building projects, has remained a yawning and a constant source of concern for homeowners and operators in the construction industry. In most cases, the standard of finishing of homes and offices is so poor that builders and homeowners resort to hiring skilled tradesmen and craftsmen from neighbouring countries and even beyond.

“This is one of the reasons we have decided to intervene in this sector of the construction industry, in furtherance of our mandate on human capital development. This programme, therefore, seeks to develop and deliver training, under the supervision of world-class experts from the United Kingdom, for 100 qualified participants, in the first instance.”

The skill areas of the programme according to Ekere include P.O.P ceiling installation, wall screeding and painting: floor plumbing, electrical wiring, specialized carpentry, such as wardrobe and kitchen cabinets, as well as interior decoration.

The NDDC MD insisted that the standard of the training will be in line with what is obtainable in the United Kingdom through its occupational standards and associated qualifications which will be customized to meet Nigeria’s peculiar requirements.

The Imo state first lady and wife of the governor, Mrs. Nneoma Okorocha called for better empowerment and training of women insisting that “if you empower a woman you empower a nation” She, however, commended the NDDC for initiating laudable programmes that impact positively on the lives of the ordinary Nigerians. She confessed that both the NDDC and their partner ESI have honoured the state by holding the pioneer launched the programme in the state.

Also speaking during the occasion, the founder of the NGO ESI Mrs. Judith Amaechi remarked that ESI has till date trained over 3000 Niger Delta indigenes in various sphere and capacity building programmes.  “We are essentially a charity and non-governmental agency. Our goal is to empower youths and women. The four-week training on Home Finishing, skills training programme will be handled by experts from the Dudley College of Technology, United Kingdom.” she said.