PIND And RIVTAF Nigeria Partner To Build Technical Skills For Youth Employment In Rivers State

PRESS RELEASE

PIND and RIVTAF Nigeria Partner to Build Technical Skills for Youth Employment in Rivers State

January 31 2019 – To tackle the challenge of youth unemployment facing governments and development partners in Nigeria and the Niger Delta region in particular, the Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with RIVTAF Nigeria Limited on January 31, 2020 to partner on its Niger Delta Youth Employment Pathways (NDYEP) project that is working to equip at least 3,000 unemployed, out of school and vulnerable youth in the region with market relevant skills to secure sustainable jobs.

Youth restiveness is often linked to unemployment, poverty and lack of economic opportunities. Despite the decades of steady economic growth, Nigeria has not made much progress in curbing youth unemployment as it still suffers from an expanding population of unemployable youth. The 2018 third quarter Labour Force Statistics report by the National Bureau of Statistics showed that more than 55% of youth in the labour force are either unemployed or underemployed. The unemployment figure is even worse for women at 26.6% compared to men at 20.3%.

With an unemployment rate that is higher than the national average, the Niger Delta harbours a significant number of unemployed youth. For example, in the third quarter of 2018, Akwa Ibom and Rivers States recorded the highest unemployment rates at 37.7% and 36.4% respectively.

According to Emeka Ile, PIND’s Niger Delta Youth Employment Pathways Manager, ‘’addressing this youth unemployment issue is probably the most critical development challenge for governments and all actors at the national and subnational levels, as the situation is a natural trigger for conflict escalation’’.

To contribute to stemming the rising tide of unemployment, PIND, with funding from the Ford Foundation, initiated the NDYEP project in 2017 to pilot models of skills training that not only equips youth with market relevant technical skills in key growth sectors but supports them to transition into employment and entrepreneurship as pathways to work in the agricultural, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Renewable energy (solar) and building construction sectors.

‘’By the end of 2018, over 1,400 youth had completed the technical, soft and entrepreneurship training program over the year one target of 1,000, with over 450 of them already linked to waged employment or starting their own enterprises’’ said Ile.

‘’With the success of the pilot model, there is an immense opportunity to apply lessons learned and cascade the benefits to more youth’’ Ile stated ‘’but doing this would require more partners, and PIND’s partnership with RIVTAF Nigeria, re-enforces this need for actors to work together towards improving employment opportunities and give youths in the state, technical training that meets specific industry requirements’’.

RIVTAF Nigeria Limited, a special purpose vehicle incorporated through partnership between TAF Nigeria Homes Limited and the Government of Rivers State shares in this ideal and is committed to increasing the pool of youth with the right technical skills for work in the construction sector. Ile explained that ‘’PIND and RIVTAF clearly understands that unless the youth are gainfully employed, peace may remain an illusion’’.

In signing the MOU to collaborate on the implementation of the NDYEP project, PIND and RIVTAF will leverage their combined capabilities, and technical expertise to promote information sharing, business linkages and partnerships for youth development in the region.
Through this initiative, RIVTAF and PIND will provide opportunities and linkages for hands-on apprenticeship and work in various building construction skills areas for selected youth trained under the NDYEP program. ‘’It is our expectation that this partnership will further demonstrate and galvanise government and private sector investments in youth development and employment’’ added Ile

ENDS

Media contact:
Chichi Nnoham-Onyejekwe, Knowledge & Communications Manager, chichi@pindfoundation.org or +234 8172064628.

About PIND
The Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND Foundation) is a Nigerian non-profit corporate social enterprise established in 2010 by Chevron Corporation as a regional strategy for addressing the multi-faceted and deep-rooted social and economic problems in the Niger Delta rather than the symptoms. PIND focuses on economic development and peacebuilding because one is not possible without the other. PIND works to achieve this by growing networks of international and local partners to collaborate in developing and implementing innovative program solutions that will result in stability and increase in income and employment in the region. This would, in turn, contribute to our end goal of reducing poverty and conflict in the Niger Delta.
For more information, visit www.pindfoundation.org; follow @PINDFoundation on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

About RIVTAF
RIVTAF Nigeria Limited is a special purpose vehicle incorporated through partnership between TAF Nigeria Homes Limited and the Government of Rivers State that developed a middle to high-income housing estate in Port Harcourt known as RIVTAF Golf Estate, the largest luxury housing estate in the South-South region of Nigeria built on about 40 hectares of land. It is a luxury estate of 1,000 homes with delivery of infrastructures such as excellent landscaping, water reticulation, sewage and electricity systems, recreation centre, a golf course, shopping mall and 24 hours of both armed and unarmed security operatives.
TAF Nigeria Homes Limited is a sister company of TAF Africa Global (The Gambia) Limited, a The Gambian company that has been in the real estate business in other African countries for 30 years.

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