Mr Chibuzor Ugwuoha, the Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, (NDDC) says human capacity and infrastructural development must be given priority to win the war against poverty. Ugwuoha stated this on Thursday when he received officials of the National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP) led by Dr Magnus Kpakol in Port Harcourt.
He said that the NDDC has introduced a number of programmes to tackle poverty. According to him, the NDDC management has identified poverty as key element against developmental efforts in the Niger Delta region and was determined to tackle it.
â€œWe are willing to collaborate with any organisation that can help us solve the problem of poverty in the area, because poverty is of a higher magnitude in spite of the fact that the people are in the midst of plenty,â€ Ugwuoha said. The NDDC boss, who expressed happiness over â€œ a lecture on how to fight povertyâ€™â€™â€, by Kpakol, said NDDC had commenced training of youths in some special sectors.
NDDC recently trained 250 youths on film making, 100 youths are currently undergoing training on water wielding in Norway, while some are being trained in road maintenance in Trindad and Tobago. We intend to train between 500 and 1,000 Seafarers overseas and all these are to position our people to take part in the oil and gas sector, in order to fight poverty,â€ he said.
The NDDC boss further told his visitors that his management, due to its drive to empower many in the region, was willing to go into partnership with NAPEP and any other organisation to achieve its mandate of developing the region. Earlier, Dr Magnus Kpakol, the National Coordinator of NAPEP, said they were at NDDC because of its importance in the fight against poverty in the Niger Delta region. Kpakol said that NAPEP has identified some key majors challenges in the fight against poverty in Nigeria.
He said, â€œ for us to achieve our target in the fight against poverty, we must address the problem of lack of access to capital, lack of stable markets, and lack of access to informationâ€. Kpakol, who explained how entrepreneurs should be financially supported, noted that the current trend whereby micro credits are given to people might not meet the desired target.
â€œWe want a situation whereby people are giving up to N50 million or more to enable them drive the economy. Giving N5,000 as micro credit for people to use it and sell â€˜agidi, or â€˜akaraâ€, cannot take this nation anywhere in its quest to eradicate poverty,â€ Kpakol said.