· NDDC has stopped sponsoring students to foreign universities
·The new administrator plans to partner with Nigerian universities to train students of Niger Delta
· It plans upgrading partnering Nigerian universities to train the students
· The new administrator wants to save cost of sending students outside the country
· A delegation from the commission led by Udengs Eradiri, special adviser on youths to the sole administrator visited some schools in Bayelsa where discussions are in ernest
The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has announced its readiness to stop the era of skill acquisition and capacity training of Niger Delta youths in foreign institutions, declaring that the commission is ready to partner with Nigerian institutions in area of capacity building and skill acquisition training for the youths of the region.
According to the commission through the Special Adviser to the Sole Administrator on Youth Matters, Engr. Udengs Eradiri, the decision does not affect the ongoing foreign scholarship beneficiaries, the new vision of the sole administrator of the commission, Mr. Okon Effiong Akwa is to save cost from foreign skill training and ensure quality training of youths from the region in recognized Nigerian institutions and build capacity in education, agriculture and health.
Engr. Eradiri, who led the delegation which include the Deputy Director in the NDDC on Commercial and Industrial Development, Dan Anjunwa on separate visits at the weekend to the Bayelsa Medical University (BMU) and the Niger Delta University (NDU), Wilberforce Island in Bayelsa, said the visit of the commission’s delegation to institutions in the region will continue to assess the training facilities available and assist in upgrading such facilities for quality training of youths from the region.
Eradiri, during the interaction with the management board of the BMU led by Prof. Ebitimitula Etebu and the Niger Delta University (NDU) led by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Samuel G. Edoumiekumo, said the new management of the NDDC under Sole Administrator, Mr Okon Effiong Akwa has decided to explore ways of saving the country the huge cost of training youths in foreign institutions and invest the funds in upgrading needed training facilities in Nigerian institutions to ensure quality training of youths from the Niger Delta.
According to him,”our visit is to inspect some institutions in the region to partner with the commission on quality training and capacity building of the youths of the region. Why spend much money abroad when you can spend it in the upgrading of Nigerian institutions to get quality and employable training for our youths. Over a hundred thousand dollars are spent on one youth abroad and are not employable. But the new NDDC wants to train youths that will be employable.”
He also pointed out that the NDDC is also ready to upgrade skill acquisition centers and entrepreneurship centers in Institutions of learning. We need to add more value to our Nigerian Institutions. The commission is not interested in claims by some people that they can train our youths but they don’t have capacity. The NDDC is now interested in sustained quality training from recognized institutions rather than merely sharing starter packs. We are to support institutions for the proper training of youths. NDDC is ready to Upgrade.”
Earlier in their separate speeches, the Vice Chancellors of the Bayelsa Medical University (BMU) and the Niger Delta University (NDU), Prof. Ebitimitula Etebu and Prof. Samuel G. Edoumiekumo respectively commended the vision of the Mr Okon Effiong Akwa led NDDC and said the institutions are ready for a renewed partnership with the commission.
While Prof. Ebitimitula Etebu told the NDDC delegation that the BMU is interested in building a Dental Institute and a modern laboratory in the institution to train more indigenous Niger Delta youths, Prof. Samuel G. Edoumiekumo of the NDU said though there is an existing training facility in the institution built by the TETfund to train ex-militant youths under the Presidential Amnesty programme, the institution is capable of accommodating the capacity training and skill acquisition plan for the youths of the region.