The Partnership Initiative in the Niger Delta (PIND) has said that introduction of novel ways of employment generation remains key to solving the developmental challenges in the Niger Delta region amid the Covid-19 disruption.
The Executive Director of PIND, Dara Akala, made this known at a virtual conference organised by PIND, tagged “Re-imagining Youth Skills Development Program and Job Creation for Positive Impact in Post-COVID-19 Economy.”
Mr Akala said leaders in the region would need to deploy new approaches to skills development in order to foster growth and development in the region.
The PIND boss noted that unemployment remains a major cause of unrest and under-development in the oil-rich region, calling on governments at all levels to tackle the menace.
He said: “The issue of unemployment is probably the most significant development challenge this time for government both at national and sub-national levels including our region, the Niger Delta. We need innovative approaches to skills development that will contribute to economic and growth post-COVID-19 pandemic.
“As a matter of fact, the region has recorded some of the highest rates of unemployment in the country and in 2018 for example, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Akwa Ibom State reported the highest rate of unemployment.
“This stood at 37.7 per cent, followed by Rivers State with 36.4 per cent, Bayelsa 32.6 per cent and Abia State 31.6 per cent and so on and forth. And this was before the advent of COVID-19 pandemic.”