The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has pledged to support young entrepreneurs in the Niger Delta region through targeted skill development initiatives to promote sustainable development.
Speaking during a courtesy visit by a delegation from the Coalition of South-South Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, COSSCCIMA, at the NDDC headquarters in Port Harcourt, the Managing Director, Dr Samuel Ogbuku, stressed the importance of building a comprehensive data-base for youth empowerment.
Ogbuku stated that the registration of the Niger Delta Chamber of Commerce being championed by the NDDC is not intended to challenge the efforts of COSSCCIMA but to extend the reach of the NDDC’s programme of empowering the people of the Niger Delta region through entrepreneurial schemes.
He said: “I want to assure you that the Niger Delta Chamber of Commerce will not undermine your activities. It will rather complement your contributions. Ordinarily, we would have jumped into partnership with COSSCCIMA but we felt that doing so will limit us to just six states, while our mandate covers nine states.
“Whatever we are all doing will be promoting commerce and industry as well as entrepreneurship in the Niger Delta region.”
He noted that supporting the growth and development of young entrepreneurs in the Niger Delta region would ultimately lead to the creation of jobs for the teeming youth population of the region.
Ogbuku affirmed: ” Here in NDDC, we are committed to improving economic prosperity in line with the Commission’s mandate through entrepreneurship development. We shall support COSSCCIMA so that entrepreneurs will be encouraged in the Niger Delta.”
The NDDC boss said that the Commission was developing an exhaustive digital repository comprising vital information about the youths of the Niger Delta region, including their qualifications, skills, interests, needs, and current employment status. He said that this database will serve as a plank for data-driven planning, enabling the formulation of impactful policies and programmes targeted at the youths.
Speaking earlier, the President of the Coalition of South-South Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, COSSCCIMA, Dr Okon Emah, stated that the trade group was well positioned to collaborate with the NDDC as the members were spread across the six states of the South-South region.
He explained: “COSSCCIMA is the umbrella body of the private sector and Chambers of Commerce in the six states of the South-South geo-political zone of Nigeria. It enables the private sector in the region to articulate and have a common perspective on issues and policies that affect the economy of the region.
“Our members offer services that will not only help in your development activities, but also assist in poverty alleviation, job creation and sustainable wealth creation.”
Emah assured that the Coalition of Chambers of Commerce would collaborate with the NDDC in skills and apprenticeship development, as well as offer service provider due diligence.