LAGOS – The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Dr Stephen Oru, on Wednesday commended the Federal Government’s efforts in engaging the youth in seafaring.
Oru made the commendation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
He said that some of the youth of the Niger Delta had been engaged in several skill acquisitions as well as agriculture, welding and mostly oil and gas-related courses.
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“These ones are in a different area which has to do with seafaring and we see it as something quite attractive.
“Is an area where we don’t have a lot of Nigerians and we saw it as an opportunity to train our youths in this sector so that they will be of good to themselves and society and fit in into a new area of employment and then they will be, of course, of good to themselves and society.
“I think is the essence of the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to keep our youth gainfully employed in the area that are specialised; not loading and offloading trucks.
“That is not form of employment. We have indicated interest in this area because in the long run, this will be the fore-runners of other youths from the Niger Delta region, who would now leave by example and be of good to those their communities where they come from and by extension the rest of Nigeria.“
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According to the minister, it is high time Nigerian youths developed more interest in seafaring training to enhance human capital development.
He said the training would be of good assistance to Nigerian youths, adding that presently, Nigeria was lacking human capacity in seafaring.
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“A lot of people have not keyed into it in the past.
“Rather than build up our own youths to go into this profession, we’ve always preferred to hire foreign hands in this area.
“When we have Nigerians being trained, it will be the beginning of a new area of promoting youths to be responsible leaders of tomorrow.
“Because tomorrow starts today. It is when they are not gainfully employed and their minds and heart are not built with discipline that they will receive on board that will see incidences of oil pipeline busting; promotion of crises; intra-ethnic rivalry over who owns which oil-producing area.
“If they are gainfully employed, that is what we call the real sense of human capital development. This is what we mean by extension.
“Whatever they are getting from their employment, it will fitter down within the family and improve their lives.“
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He, however, advised the youth who had been opportuned to engage in seafaring training to be disciplined and committed so as to motivate other youths to key into the programme. (NAN)