Youths of the Niger Delta region have been charged to embrace entrepreneurship as a springboard for sustainable development.
The Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Dr. Samuel Ogbuku, gave the charge in his keynote address at the Ogbia Youth Summit in Ogbia, Bayelsa State.
Ogbuku also urged the youths to key into the commission’s Holistic Opportunity Projects of Engagement (HOPE), meant to identify interests of the youths for skills training.
The NDDC boss applauded the vision to set up a youth hub and pledged to support the initiative, noting that collaboration was necessary for development efforts to flourish. He noted that for any community to achieve sustainable development and peace, the youths must be meaningfully engaged.
Ogbuku said: “As Ogbia people, we should jettison individual interests for the collective interest of the people. This is the example we should learn from our leader, former President, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, who declared that his political ambition was not worth the blood of any Nigerian; that is the Ogbia spirit.
“What was handed to us by our founding fathers is the identity of an Ogbia man. Whatever achievement we must have accomplished today, is the result of the legacies established by late Melford Okilo and other notable leaders. These legacies made us strive for greatness.
“It will be a bigger challenge for me if I can’t bring peace and development to Ogbia people. If we collaborate, we can partner and share ideas for success.”
Ogbuku noted that focus on human capacity building was in line with the Renewed Hope agenda of the President Bola Tinubu administration.
In his welcome address, the President of Ogbia Youths, Mr. Johnny Jonathan, said that they put up the programme to chart a new course in human capacity development among the youths.
Jonathan, who commended the NDDC’s chief executive officer for supporting youth programmes, stressed the need to educate young people on the importance of peace as a catalyst to economic and infrastructural development.
The youth president expressed confidence that the gains of the youth hub would be huge in the near future.
The former First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, who represented former President Goodluck Jonathan, as the special guest of honour, told the youths to avoid drug abuse because of its after effects.
Dame Jonathan insisted that peace and unity were needed to ensure sustainable development in Ogbia community and elsewhere in the Niger Delta region.
She enjoined the youths to liaise with the leaders in the bid to bring more development to the community.