The acronym, LIFE-ND stands for: “Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprises Project in the Niger Delta of Nigeria
“In Nigeria, a decline in oil exports, which make up 70 per cent of government revenue, has resulted in a steady decrease in the growth rate of the country’s GDP. Nigeria is now in a financial recession, with 42 per cent of youth either unemployed or underemployed. Agriculture remains underdeveloped but has the potential to provide decent employment to thousands of young people and women.
“LIFE-ND aims to address the growing numbers of restive youth by sustainably enhancing incomes and food security, and creating jobs for young rural people and women in the Niger Delta. The project will build on the successes of earlier IFAD-supported projects to develop the supply of skilled youth labour, and it will strengthen the capacity of institutions at the state and community levels to work with private sector actors.
“LIFE-ND will be implemented in the nine Niger Delta states: Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Imo, Ondo and Rivers. It will engage 25,500 youth and women, as well as 600 established and potential enterprise incubators. The beneficiaries will be youth aged 18 to 35 years and women-headed households with children under the age of 15. Overall, the project will target 50 per cent male and 50 per cent female participation.
Meanwhile, the NDDC has rallied stakeholders at roundtable on LIFE-ND to fast track the programme.
The drive by the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, under Ag. Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, CEO, Dr. Akwagaga Enyia, to cut poverty and unemployment by half in the Niger Delta states, through the “IFAD/FGN/NDDC Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprises Project in the Niger Delta – LIFE-ND”, has entered a higher gear. Ongoing in Port Harcourt is a Stakeholders’ Meeting that is hosting critical participants that include Honourable Commissioners of Agriculture from the focal states, national and regional managers of the life-changing programme, and others expected to cascade the particulars across the local government areas.
Ag. MD/CEO is represented by Mr. Nosa Agbongiasede, Director, Special Duities. National Programme Co-ordinator, Engr. Sani Abiodun, IFAD Country Representative, Ms. Nadine Gbossa, representives of the Ministers, Federal Ministries of Finance and Agriculture, are present. Also in attendance is Dr. Ogaga Ifowodo.
The Programme targets key 7 commodity areas that would allow beneficiary states to concentrate on their areas of strength.
Dr. Enyia is passionate about the programme and determined to further engage the stakeholders to change the narrative of the Niger Delta region.
Story and Photos from: Bekee Anyalewechi