By Evelyn Usman
Lack of creation of jobs for youths in the Niger Delta region of the country has been attributed to a major cause of insecurity in the region, with a call to the Federal Government to address the issue.
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Jomason Resources Limited, Mr Ogbiya Martins, made the assertion, when he received an award as the Best Philanthropist of the year 2019, by the West Africa Media Community Award, WAMCA, in Lagos, weekend.
He frowned at the idea of awarding contracts to only those outside the region, when most youths there, could handle such.
He said, “Restiveness in Niger Delta is as a result of no work to do and the impoverished state of the indigenes. Instead of awarding contracts to only those in Abuja, government, should give such to people in the Niger so that they can earn a living .
“For instance, there are certain things we can do but government does not look inward to get capable hands for the jobs in the Niger Delta, rather, it reaches out only to politicians”.
He revealed that as part of measures to pay its quota in the region, the company embarked on a scholarship project , as well as in-house training and post graduate training in the region.
So far, over 1000 youths from the region had benefitted from the gesture, according to him, adding that it was aimed among other things, to give them a sense of value.
In addition, he said cash loans were given to indigenes in the region to run trades of their choice and to acquire tools for the skills they were trained on.
According to the oil mogul, “We have up to 1000 beneficiaries in the scheme. Some of them are fishermen and women. For those who are not privileged to bank loans, we give them soft loans between N200,000 and N1 million, based on what they intend to do, in order to enable them start something tangible.
“We also carry out sensitization programme , to ensure that youths there do not derail from their primary purpose of existence. This is aimed at building their confidence and also to let them know that they are not totally neglected”.
He revealed that his company was shortlisted in the project 100, a federal government project where selected companies are expected to benefit from government’s special interventions such as capacity building, access to finance and markets among others.
He said being part of the project 100, his company and other indigenous oil and gas companies in Niger Delta, would use the opportunity to improve the soci-economic growth and development in the Niger-Delta region.
Appreciating organizers of the award for honoring him, Martins, who also received a honourary Doctorate degree from Togo, recently, said the award was not just in recognition of what he had done but a call for him to do more.
He therefore, pledged not to relent in his efforts at impacting positively into Niger Delta youths ,even as he charged them to be committed and dedicated to every good work they were into, saying one day, they would be located for a better offer.