Two online polls by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) on LinkedIn and Twitter have revealed that most people want the NDDC to invest in training, empowerment, and jobs for the region. The results reflect the region’s needs and aspirations for more vocational training, employment, and empowerment opportunities.
The polls, which ran for two weeks on the NDDC’s LinkedIn and Twitter platforms, stated that the NDDC wanted to hear from the public what areas or sectors it should prioritize for more investment and attention.
Training/Empowerment/Jobs: The Topmost Priority
According to the poll results, Training/Empowerment/Jobs is the area or sector that needs the most attention or investment from the NDDC, with 43.4 percent of respondents on Twitter and 52 percent of respondents on LinkedIn choosing this option.
This is not surprising, given the high levels of unemployment and poverty in the Niger Delta region.
The Niger Delta region has a young population structure, with about 60 percent of the population below the age of 30 years. The region also has a low dependency ratio of about 0.6, meaning there are more working-age people than dependents. The NDDC’s focus on training, empowerment, and job creation is critical for the region’s development and can help to create a more vibrant and sustainable economy.
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One of the participants, who chose this option, commented: “The NDDC should invest more in skills training and empowerment programs for the youths and women in the region. This will enable them to start businesses or get employed in existing ones. This will also reduce the dependence on oil and gas and diversify the region’s economy.”
Another participant, who also chose this option, said: “The NDDC should partner with private sector organizations and international donors to provide more opportunities for training and employment in various sectors such as agriculture, fisheries, ICT, renewable energy, etc.
This will also improve the skills and capacities of the people in the region and make them more competitive in the global market.”
Electricity/Roads/Bridges: The Second Most Popular Option
Electricity/Roads/Bridges was the second most popular option, with 37 percent of respondents on Twitter and 28 percent of the respondents on LinkedIn choosing this area or sector.
This is also not surprising, given the poor state of infrastructure in the region. The NDDC’s investment in electricity, roads, and bridges can help improve connectivity and access to services, which can positively impact the region’s economy and quality of life.
One of the participants, who chose this option, Eric Aigbe, said: “Creating an enabling environment is it for me. This includes the provision of electricity and construction of roads and bridges.”
Another participant, who also chose this option, said: “The NDDC should improve the quality and coverage of roads and bridges in the region. This will facilitate the transportation and movement of goods and people across the region. It will also reduce accidents and losses due to bad roads and bridges.”
Agriculture/Fisheries and Small/Medium Business Development: The Least Popular Options
Agriculture/Fisheries and Small/Medium Business Development received the lowest number of votes, with 7.3 percent and 12.3 percent of respondents on Twitter and 4 percent and 16 percent of respondents on LinkedIn choosing these options, respectively.
While these areas or sectors are essential for the region’s development, it is clear from the poll results that Training/Empowerment/Jobs and Electricity/Roads/Bridges are the most pressing concerns for the people of the Niger Delta.
One of the participants, who chose Agriculture/Fisheries, said: “The NDDC should support the development of agriculture and fisheries in the region. This will enhance food security and income generation for the people. It will also reduce environmental degradation and pollution caused by oil spills and gas flaring.”
Another participant, who chose Small/Medium Business Development, said: “The NDDC should promote the growth and development of small and medium enterprises in the region. This will create more jobs and wealth for the people. It will also stimulate innovation and entrepreneurship in the region.”