The Chairman Governing Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Sen. Victor Ndoma-Egba, has expressed the willingness of the Commission to support Universities in the region.
Ndoma-Egba said this in a statement issued in Abuja on Monday by Clara Braide, Special Adviser Communication to the Chairman, NDDC.
Braide quoted the NDDC Chairman when the Pro Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, (FUTO), Prof. John Offem led a delegation of the 11th Governing Council of the University to visit the NDDC Office in Abuja.
The NDDC boss congratulated the Pro Chancellor and Members of his Council on their appointment into the Governing Board of FUTO, while commending the University for producing well trained graduates who are doing very well in their various professional fields.
“NDDC is giving special attention to Universities in the Member States of the region because we believe that well educated and empowered youths are the real resource of the nation and not oil.
“Technology is a key driver of any economy.
Oil is a finite resource, which might either dry up someday or made irrelevant by technology.
We must, therefore, begin to look at an economy outside oil,” he emphasised.
Ndoma-Egba further assured the delegation of the commitment of NDDC Board and Management to change the economic fortunes of the region by undertaking youth oriented projects that would create jobs for the people of the Region.
He intimated the delegation of the commission’s plans to ring the region with Fibre Optics which would provide internet penetration and access across the entire Niger Delta Region.
According to him, Internet connectivity is a catalyst to development.
“Bill Gates, Zuckerberg founder of Facebook, and Steve Jobs are very good examples of youths who never had formal education, but through technology and creativity have made a huge difference in the world.
“Similar creative and innovative minds that could drive technology could also be found in Abia, Imo and indeed other parts of the region, ” he said.
Ndoma-Egba expressed the willingness of the Commission to collaborate with FUTO to jump start the process of adding more value to all Universities in the region and the Academic Community.
Earlier, Offem said that FUTO is one of the Specialised Universities established by the Federal Government in 1980 to produce skilled manpower with strong Technological base to facilitate development of the country.
He said the University has grown to become a leading supplier of skilled manpower to the Nigerian labour market, especially in the oil and gas, transportation and telecommunications as well as information technology sectors of the economy.
The Pro Chancellor solicited the support of NDDC in undertaking various infrastructural Projects, particularly the construction of perimeter fencing to secure the University from encroachment by their neighboring Communities, illegal entry and other activities by undesirable elements.