The Managing Director of the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC), Bashorun Askia Ogieh, has clarified that Governor Ifeanyi Okowa does not in any way interfere with the day-to-day running of the commission.
Speaking at the PTI Conference Centre in Effurun, near Warri, during the inauguration and matriculation ceremony for 160 trainees of the DESOPADEC Skill Academy for unemployed youths from oil bearing communities, Askia said DESOPADEC, was diligently implementing its mandate to change the socioeconomic development of host communities within the mandate areas of the commission. He said DESOPADEC was an interventionist agency for oil bearing communities in Delta State.
Ogieh said: “I wish to briefly address an unsavoury issue that crept up recently. Some people have been promoting false and mischievous narratives on the management of the income accruing to Delta State under the derivation principle. “Let me make it clear that DESOPADEC is the product of an Act of Parliament, having been passed into law by the Delta State House of Assembly under the administration of His Excellency, Chief James Ibori.
“The provisions of the DESOPADEC Act have been diligently implemented over the years. Under His Excellency, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, our governor, there has been no interference on the running of DESOPADEC.”
Askia, who described the launch of the Academy as unprecedent in the history of the commission, said the programme is designed to tackle rising unemployment and promote entrepreneurial spirit among youths in its mandate area. He explained that Nigerian youths especially Deltans must embrace entrepreneurship rather than wait for ‘non-existence’ white-collar jobs.
He added: “ At DESOPADEC, we have always believed that we can provide our willing, teeming youths the oyster that can drain them from the space of helplessness, strongly convinced that entrepreneurship is the antidote to unemployment. “This Academy is therefore one of our major pillars designed to deliver our low hanging fruits. Today is the beginning of one of our major intervention measures to address a critical issue that plagues not only our youth in Delta State, but the entire country.
“We are blessed with a large pool of educated and energetic young men and women. However, without technical skills in an increasingly competitive world, many of our youth have been left jobless. “Everyone is born with a passion and latent, buried gifts which can be harnessed.
Elsewhere, I have said one’s passion, outside academic qualifications, can lead to wealth creation and comfort. The future belongs to the youths with fall back trades, those who create jobs and have become entrepreneurs and not seekers of white-collar jobs.
“The DESOPADEC Academy which we are launching today is a new platform we have created to impact requisite skills on the youth and equip them with the capacity to venture into the exciting world of entrepreneurship. Skills acquisition is the key to building an assured future for the young generation.”