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BUILDING A STRONGER DELTA THROUGH YOUTH EMPOWERMENT

One thing that will be difficult to take away from Senator (Dr.) Ifeanyi Okowa, the Executive Governor of Delta State, is his love for the youths and strong esteem for talents. Apart from his appointment of a Special Assistant (SA), on youth empowerment to handle this responsibility during his first term in office, the above assertion is predicated on the Ika Weekly’s sterling conviction that he actively encouraged and supported able men so that they can go peaceably about their businesses, whether it is trade, agriculture or any other human occupation., and honoured those who excelled in their professions.

These widening strides notwithstanding, from the growing concerns and frustrations among the youths, it’s evident that youth’s unemployment is rapidly on the increase and may not end suddenly unless the government becomes more creative in its quest to reduce unemployment scourge in the state.

To shed more light on this point, as noted in one of our recent editorial comments, Delta is a vast state with vast problems that disrupt its progress- insecurity, infrastructural deficiencies and lack of energy (electricity). But, as a media organization that interfaces with the generality of Deltans, we need not pause to know that the most pernicious of all these problems in our view is youths unemployment.

And Deltans have seen some job creation initiatives under this administration that ordinarily could help the state to move forward both politically and socio-economically, but the situation says something more. SEE: CURBING SPORTS BET MENACE ON NIGERIAN YOUTHS

The world has recently recognized that empowerment is no longer just learning of one skill or the other, or learning one vocation or the other but now includes both short and long term strategies. Particularly, showing the youth the right direction and nurture their potentials for innovation, creativity, self-confidence, determination and leadership.

Doing this for youths in the state have become very imperative as they (youths) will provide the next set of leaders in the future.

And the state cannot be talking about building a ‘stronger Delta’ without making leadership in the state a sustainable form that protects both the rights and opportunities of coming generations.

To achieve the above, government must seize the initiative and address the education sector- as it is only a well enlightened mind that can strive for the capacity to build a stronger Delta.

Also, it will be rewarding if the state government as part of making the state conducive for human development develops the political will to give priority attention to the following sectors- health, power and infrastructure.

In our understanding, the government must shift attention to youth empowerment as youth’s socioeconomic powerlessness in the state and the nation as a whole has put us before the world as a people that lack a plan for their future leaders.

It is our opinion that the state government must do something to help the youths come out of this challenge. It is in the interest of the government to create jobs for the youths as a formidable way of curbing crime and reducing threatening insecurity in the state, especially in the coastal region of the state. It should be done not merely for political consideration but from the views of national development and sustenance of our democracy.

To get started, it will translate to great steps taken in the right direction if the state could partner with agencies such as the National Directorate of Employment, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), and The Delta state Oil Producing Area Development Commission (DESOPADEC)

Very importantly, creating a productive collaboration between the government and private organizations in the state, particularly the oil-producing companies should be an urgent task before the government.

Youths on their part must recognize that ‘the future is full of promises as it is fraught with uncertainty. That the industrial society is giving way to one based on knowledge’. They must, therefore, learn to be part of the knowledge-based world.

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