The Nigeria government and Host Communities Producing Oil and Gas in Nigeria (HOSTCOM) announced that they have successfully screened and engaged 10, 000 Niger Delta youths in pipeline surveillance and security services in the region.
The exercise, according to a statement by the office of National Chairman of HOSTCOM, Prince Mike Emuh, and made available to reporters, said that the government and HOSTCOM had launched a campaign tagged, “Operation Secure the Oil and Gas Pipelines Nationwide.”
The statement explained that based on this, there was urgent need to screen and train the first badge of 10,000 youths from the oil-rich Niger Delta region.
It added that the decision to screen, train and engage the youths of the region on pipeline surveillance and security services was earlier reached at a national executive council meeting of HOSTCOM, attended by its national chairman, Prince Mike Emuh, national board of trustees chairman, His Royal Majesty and former governor of old Rivers State, King Alfred Diette Spiff, and chairman of the oil-rich and impacted states of the region.
The statement by Amb. Benedict Opara, Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to the national chairman, noted that the cost of training and engaging the first badge of youths was huge and capital intensive and called for discipline on the part of those who came out successfully in the screening exercise.
It also appealed to the other youths in the region and the agitators to unite, speak with one voice and give the HOSTCOM the required cooperation in its effort to checkmate and police pipeline vandalism, oil theft, illegal bunkering, illegal refineries and all activities deemed to be detrimental to sustainable development of the oil and gas industry in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, the Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Brig.-Gen Paul Boroh (rtd.), has called on youths in the Niger Delta to take advantage of the Federal Government agricultural policies to empower themselves.
Boroh made the call in a statement issued on Friday in Yenagoa by Mr Piriye Kiyaramo, Head of Media and Communication Department, Presidential Amnesty Programme, Bayelsa Liaison Office.
The statement quoted Boroh as saying that embracing agriculture would go a long way in empowering and creating jobs for the youths.
Boroh, who is also the Special Adviser to President Mohammadu Buhari on Niger-Delta Affairs, said the importance of agriculture to a growing economy could not be over-emphasised.
The coordinator noted that the Presidential Amnesty Programme was working hard to ensure that the agriculture empowerment initiative under the scheme had been beneficial to the youths in the region.
“The agriculture empowerment scheme is aimed at creating job opportunities to ensure food availability for the people.
“The scheme is to enable them to participate in productive and lucrative agro-business ventures with a view to transforming the rural economy in the Niger Delta region,” he said.
Boroh reiterated that investing in agriculture would also enhance social protection for youths in rural communities in the region.topics from