The Coordinator , Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Brig-Gen. Paul Boroh, says adequate empowerment schemes for youths in the Niger Delta will fast-track the development of the region.
Boroh, who is also the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, expressed the view in an interview in Yenagoa on Saturday.
He said Niger Delta youths had a lot of potential and with skills development; they would overcome all the challenges bedevilling the region and trigger its development.
“If we have to promote the development of our region, then our top mission has to be skills development.
“Thousands of youth from the region should aim at acquisition of skills and global business development ideas.
“Everyone has high hopes in the success of the region to generate employment for the youth and prevent brain drain of its people,’’ he said.
According to him, this demands the commitment of the entire region to ensure all-round development of the youth so to enable them to realise their full potential and contribute positively to nation-building.
Boroh said if the youth were empowered, they would acquire knowledge and skills, promote national integration, regional co-operation and exchange between the region and others.
The coordinator noted that young people globally had been identified as major human resources for development, key agents for social change, economic development and technological innovation.
According to him, the imagination of youths, ideals, considerable energies and vision are essential for continuing development of the societies in which they live.
He said identifying current challenges of the youth and suggesting strategies and recommendations for overcoming them would make the difference.
‘’There is also a critical need to involve young people in decisions that will affect them.
“We cannot talk about sustainable development without the active involvement of youth,’’ he said.
The presidential aide said PAP was determined to focus on other critical areas that would aid youth development, such as agriculture.
The Amnesty Office is set to embark on training and empowerment of 200 ex-agitators at the Nigerian Institute for Oil Palm Research as part of its efforts toward diversification from oil which has been the mainstay of Nigeria’s economy.