- Young leaders in the Niger Delta say they no longer want their region to be seen as just a temporal money-making venture
- The future leaders of the oil-rich region are advocating for a new narrative in discussing the challenges of the Niger Delta
- A recent virtual conference documented young leaders in the region charting the way forward for the Niger Delta
FCT, Abuja - Young leaders in the oil-rich Niger Delta region have pushed for strategic regional engagement and affirmative leadership, as a panacea for development, and a means to make up for the huge capital being invested in the region.
The leaders unanimously adopted this position as a way forward for the region on Saturday, June 19 during the Niger Delta Young Leaders Webinar Conference.
Discussing the way forward
Legit.ng gathered that the event's theme: “Leadership and Economic Challenges in the Oil Niger Delta’ Solutions and Prospects.”
A statement sent to Legit.ng by the organisers of the conference noted that participants advocated that the region set aside its culture of mediocrity and faulty leadership process.
Lending his voice to the call, a former lawmaker representing Akuku-Toru/Asari-Toru Federal Constituency of Rivers state, Dr. Dawari George, harped on the need for the region to define its own problems.
He noted that in spite of the huge capital going in as investment into the region, the Niger Delta was still plagued by mediocrity.
According to him, the raw materials that abound in the region have not been properly harnessed to facilitate development and create economic relief for the region and its people.
Changing the narrative and giving the youths a voice
Convener of the conference and chairman of the Nigerian Young Professionals Forum (NYPF), Mr. Moses Siloko Siasia, stressed that it is important for the voice of young individuals to be heard.
According to the NYPF boss, it was time to change the narrative and bring in those who are well-oriented.
While hailing the leadership of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board for promoting local content in the country, he added that revolutionizing the agricultural sector was necessary to diversify and create value which would, in turn, reflect on the country’s GDP.
Speakers at the conference include the Deputy Speaker of Imo state House of Assembly Rt. Hon Amarachi Nwanyanwu, special adviser on tourism to the Cross River state government, Ubi Franklin, and social entrepreneur and writer, Mary Akpan.
Others are the special adviser on youths to the Interim Administrator of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Comrade Engr. Udengs EradirMr. Otuya Okecha, Mr. Richard Akinaka, and Mrs. Merlyn Tamunoemi.
On its official Facebook page, the NYPF boss noted that the voice of young people is pivotal towards changing the narrative of Nigeria.
The message was posted as part of Siasia's Democracy Day message on Saturday, June 12.
Recall that stakeholders and policy leaders in Africa’s oil and gas, and other related sectors, have unanimously advocated for a new local content strategy for Africa.
Experts say the move will serve as an imperative for the domestication and sustainable growth of Africa’s hydrocarbon resources.
The stakeholders reached the consensus at the maiden edition of the African Local Content Roundtable which was held in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa state capital, and monitored by Legit.ng.
Legit.ng had earlier reported that the conference seeks to institutionalize peer review mechanisms among African oil-producing countries on local content.
The move is expected to serve as a key development imperative for the domestication and sustainable growth of Africa’s hydrocarbon resources.
The organisers in a statement sent to Legit.ng noted that over the years, critical stakeholders in the oil and gas sector in Africa have been fascinated by the remarkable impact and achievements of Nigeria in the implementation of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act.