Okowa at DOPF Annual Lecture, Highlights Skill Acquisition As key in Building New Niger Delta Economy

Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa has called for greater effort in ensuring the provision of proper Skill Acquisitions for youths of the region, to build a new face for the economic development of the Niger Delta area.

The Governor stated this at the Delta Online Publishers Forum, DOPF 2021 Annual Lecture, with the theme, “Niger Delta Economy: Building a new face for the region”, which held in Asaba,on Thursday, October 21, 2021.

Governor Okowa, represented by his chief of Staff, Barr. Festus Ovie Agas, said that issue of Skill Acquisition should be an agenda to the people of the region in order to create and sustain a human population that will add value to the region, to change the present narrative of unemployment of majority of the people, as well as reduce the dependency on oil resources as the only means of generating employment.

The governor, who advocated for skills acquisition for youths as a way of diverting their minds from crime since there is scarcity of jobs in the country, noted that all the nine governors in the Niger Delta have policies and programmes aimed at changing lives of people in the region, even as he pointed out that his administration, when he was Governor had, through its various policies on youth development, created a stream of future economic power house, as many are now employers of labour.

While avering that all the governors that have governed the State had invested in the lives of the people of the state and the state had in turn invested much in the security of lives and property, Dr. Okowa expressed confidence that former Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan was also eminently qualified, in his role as guest speaker at the event, to address the issues of the Niger Delta and proffer solutions to the Niger Delta question, adding that his predecessor contributed immensely to the peace being enjoyed in the region as he worked tirelessly during his administration to build and sustain peace in the oil rich region.

Dr. Okowa, who further stressed that security is the responsibility of all, said the state has a lot of programmes tailored towards the enduring the betterment of the residents and diverting their minds from criminal tendencies, even as he notes that the issues raised by the former governor during the delivery of his lectures on ‘Niger Delta: Building a new face for the region” would be applied to raise the living standard of Deltans.

Expressing his total agreement that the purpose of government is for the welfare, protection and security of lives and property, Governor Okowa cautioned however that government cannot provide all the needs of the citizens and while congratulating the members of the Delta Online Publishers Forum for their interest in the development of the Niger Delta, added that the theme for 2021 event is a wakeup call for the region to work earnestly to change the narrative of the area.

Earlier, in his welcome address, the Chairman of DOPF, Mr. Emmanuel Enebeli said the 2021 theme became necessary as the region which has produced the wealth of the nation over the years, had not witnessed significant development, as they had not got the true value of the black Gold that is deposited in their communities.

Enebeli, who called for new channels in the development plan for the Region, as it is blessed with others resources and a very beautiful water basin that can be harvested for the good of the people, condemned the continuous dependent of successive governments of the region on allocation from the Federation.

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