Comr. Joe Jackson, the National Youth president of Niger Delta Youth Movement (NDYM) is worried by the rate of social vices occasioned by unemployment, poverty and marginalization in the region. In this exclusive interview in his national secretariat, Mbonu street D-line, Port Harcourt, he spoke about the ongoing data collation project in Niger Delta States, the failed quota system, unemployment, and other issues confronting NIGER DELTA Region ,Excerpts
What is data collection project?
We have a lot of packed for the youths, like today’s program is called Data collection of unemployed graduates, for both skilled and unskilled artisans’ youths of Niger Delta Region. We want to let the whole world know that the Niger Delta Youth Movement is packaging a program to collate the data of unemployed graduates of the region to see how we can secure employments for them, because the quota system is not really working for the Niger Delta Youths. So most multinationals are alleging that we do not have the prerequisite manpower to fill their vacancies, so we notice that we have been loosing job opportunities and that is why we have this youths restiveness in the region. To that effect, we on our part felt so disturbed and worried on how we can help our youths to secure jobs, and that gave birth to this initiative.
We have been hearing about NDYM , what is it all about and how long has it been in existence?
The Niger Delta Youths Movement is the umbrella body of the NDDC youth directorate which was part of the struggle for the creation of NDDC. We started with pushing for a lots of benefits to come to the youths. The NDDC youths directorate was created for us by President Olusegun Obasanjo, because of consistent pressure. After creating the NDDC, Obasanjo, thought it wise to create the youths directorate that will accommodate the yearnings and aspirations of the youths of the region. So we have been doing a lot for the youths. The Globecom partner with the Niger delta youths Movements in 2001 to give a starter park to the youths to get empowered by making phone calls and a lot of youths benefited in that initiative.
What informed your collection of data?
We were driven by the rate of social vices caused by idle minds which is the devil’s workshop. These unemployed youths are roaming the street, if they don’t find something to do, they will certainly do what they see, and this is becoming a problem to all of us, hence we thought out a way forward. The international community and the multinationals feel that we do not have the requisite manpower, but we want to prove them wrong. We are therefore appealing to everyone in this category to come and register with just #500. The registration could be done through your ATM card in the various banks, and those living in rural areas can register through any cyber café close to them and log into website www.ndym.org.
Sir, how do you intend to achieve this mission?
We are in partnership with Galaxy Remediators Nigeria limited to come up with the website where unemployed youths can have their information uploaded; www.ndym.org where they will store all their information as unemployed youths of the region. Note that this program is for only indigent youth of the Niger Delta Region, for us to make sure that this program benefits our youths, they must come from the 9 Niger delta States.
What are the information, requirements for registration? How transparent is the system?
A letter of identification signed by the Local Government Chairman will be most paramount. Most of our youths have been trained with certificates but with nothing doing, we are going to see how these youths could be engaged in such a way that it could accommodate graduates from various spheres, B.Sc, NCE; diploma, SSCE, First School Living Certificate and those that do not have any opportunity of going to school. We will then make recommendation to the relevant authorities, we will approach various institutions and ministries to see how they could make ways for them. Those who never went to school should be given opportunity to be trained, to get them engaged.
What are your expectations sir?
We expect that they could log into the website and pick the people they need. We don’t even need to know them, we don’t need to recommend anybody, we have given you the information that you needed, the manpower, but you need to access them and invite them for interview. To be in the safer side, they could give us the number of people they have employed, for us to know that the program is working. When we finish with the federal government, we will go to the 9 NDDC state governors and give them the hard copies too, so they too can know what is happening. We will visit the minister of petroleum, all the multinationals and send the documents to them, so that they will not need to go to the Philippines to bring cheap labour. We have welder, and artisans, most of which have been trained by these oil companies, who will still go to bring people from outside. Lastly, we will continue to monitor the activities of the multinationals in order for our youths to be getting engaged.
Sir, don’t you think they will complain about the financial involvement, what is your advice to Niger Delta Youths?
By this program, we want to collect the data of the unemployed youths of the region, and we will present the hard copy to the government of the federation through the Secretary to the Federal Government, and for the multinationals to access online. We advise the youths of the Niger Delta to capture this golden opportunity. We intend to use the proceed from the N500 registration to build Niger Delta Youths development centers across the 9 Niger Delta States, so that we fromtime to time will be training our youths to get them equipped for the relevant job opportunities that abound . We will reach out to the multinationals to bring their trainers to train our youths in the centers. We cannot do it for free, remember we are youths like them, and we are not government sponsored, we don’t have any platform to gather this information, so we need the money to cover administrative cost that is why we are mobilizing the youths to please embrace it, because it will be good on the long run. Meanwhile to the multinationals, I want to tell them to get prepared because the youths of the region are equally ready to take up the job opportunities that abound in the region.