By NBF News
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Governor Ikedi Ohakim of Imo State has assured Mr. Chibuzor Ugwoha, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) of his government's partnership in the development of the region.

The pledge came just as the NDDC boss, who was described by the Imo State helmsman as a focused performer, unveiled an overseas post-graduate scholarship scheme for Niger Delta people.

A release by Mr. Abraham Ogbodor, Special Assistant (Media) to the MD/CEO stated that Mr. Ugwoha spoke during a courtesy call on the governor by the Ugwoha-led NDDC team, Ohakim, who was represented by his Deputy, Ada Okwuonu, hailed the efforts of the NDDC in transforming the Niger Delta with development projects.

He commended Ugwoha for executing what he described as people-oriented projects in Imo State. The state, the governor said, would reciprocate the gesture by supporting the programmes and activities of the commission to ensure that the task of addressing the development challenges of the Niger Delta was effectively executed.

Earlier, Ugwoha who was on an inspection tour to Imo, where the NDDC was executing about 45 mega projects, had identified investment in human capital development as central to the peace and development of the Niger Delta. He, however, assured of different plans by his commission to tackle the problem of youth unemployment in the region.

According to the NDDC boss, his administration had already evolved a number of programmes aimed at equipping the youths of the Niger Delta with requisite skills to enable them function effectively in the nation's oil and gas industry, besides other key sectors of the economy.

Said he: 'My belief is that you cannot have development, especially in the context of the Niger Delta, you cannot transform the fortunes of the region to a place of peace and economic prosperity without looking beyond infrastructure. Infrastructural development is good, as it brings about immediate visible results, but it is not sustainable.'

As part of the human capacity development project of his administration, Ugwoha disclosed, about 1,000 Niger Delta youths were already undergoing a three-year seafaring training sponsored by the NDDC while 150 others were due fort underwater welding training at the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), Oron Akwa Ibom State.

To boost the food production capacity of the Niger Delta, he explained, the commission had so far trained 5,000 Niger Delta indigenes in various agricultural skills, while 2230 youths were also being trained in filmmaking and directing in conjunction with the New York Film Academy.