By Piriye Kiyaramo
Former Acting Director, Federal Polytechnic, Oil and Gas, Centre for Entrepreneurship skills Development, Ekowe in Bayelsa State, Mr. Forster Benson, has commended the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Professor Charles Quaker Dokubo for his ongoing entrepreneurship skills development initiatives, geared towards empowering youths in the Niger Delta region.
Making the commendation while on a visit to the Supervisor of the Presidential Vocational Training Centre Kaiama, Mr. Jude Gbaboyor, in Kolokuma/Opokuma local government area of Bayelsa state recently, Mr Benson, who lamented the increasing rate of unemployment among the youths in the Niger Delta region, observed that “most countries are plagued by high rates of youth unemployment, with such high rates as 70 per cent, which has continued to worsen every year in of developing countries”.
He said, “The critical challenge that faces the Niger Delta region is how to create jobs through human capacity building training programmes for the teaming youth population, with a view to developing competent workforce for sustained economic growth.
He pointed out that “human resource development, through well planned vocational training initiatives such as the one the current Amnesty Coordinator is focussing on, will go a long way in contributing significantly towards entrepreneurship development, enterprise and the local economy in general.
Mr. Benson expressed satisfaction with level work done at the Kaiama Vocational Training Centre, adding that there was urgent need for public office holders, politicians, planners, administrators and educators to find quick solutions to the problem of high rate of unemployment in the country and to come up with meaningfully schemes that would meaningfully engage more youths.
The vocational education expert maintained that “by helping youths in the region to gain access to decent work and sustainable jobs, Prof, Charles Dokubo is sustaining many households in the region, as well as making them to escape from poverty and marginalization”, adding that the ongoing technical and vocational training programmes of the Amnesty programme under Prof. Dokubo will not only impact positively on the economic development of the region, but will make the youths in the region to be self reliant and be part of an inclusive sustainable development process.
In his response, Supervisor of Presidential Amnesty Vocational Training Centre, Kaiama, Mr. Jude Gbabayor, thanked Mr. Benson for the visit, informing him that the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Petroleum Training Institute (PTI), Effurun, Delta State, for the training of 200 beneficiaries of the Presidential Amnesty Programme in the oil and gas sector, among several ongoing training programmes across the region.
It would be recalled that at the signing ceremony in Abuja, the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Prof. Charles Dokubo, said “the MoU with the Petroleum Training Institute (PTI), Effurun, Delta State, signposts the beginning of an indelible move by the federal government towards attaining greater heights”.