The Niger Delta Young Professionals (NDYP) have taken a significant step towards fostering economic self-reliance in the Niger Delta region by awarding N500,000 grants to numerous young entrepreneurs. Amidst growing concerns over the region’s overdependence on oil, key stakeholders have rallied to urge the youth to embrace entrepreneurship and chart a path toward self-sufficiency and job creation.
The 3rd Niger Delta Medium and Small Scale Enterprises Summit, convened by Moses Siasia, the Chief Convener and Chairman of both the Nigerian Young Professional Forum (NYPF) and NDYP, served as a platform to empower the region’s budding entrepreneurs. Siasia disclosed that the NDYP’s efforts have already trained over 2,300 business owners, extended grants to more than 200 of them, and facilitated the creation of 4,920 direct and indirect jobs.
Siasia highlighted the pivotal role of support from institutions such as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in fostering this entrepreneurial ecosystem. Through their collaboration, the NDYP has managed to provide loans and grants to 1,620 businesses, breathing life into the aspirations of young entrepreneurs.
Respected voices from the oil-rich Niger Delta region have underscored the urgency of shifting away from the longstanding dependence on oil. Acknowledging the global shift towards clean energy and environmental concerns, stakeholders at the summit urged the youth to cultivate an entrepreneurial spirit and diversify their economic activities.
Moses Siasia emphasized the potential transformation that adopting an entrepreneurial mindset could bring to the youth in the region. By transitioning to competitive business owners, young people can position themselves on a global stage, propelling economic growth.
Siasia called for collaboration between state governments in the Niger Delta and initiatives like NDYP. Despite the organization’s impactful efforts, past summits held in Delta and Rivers states did not receive the expected support from local governments. Highlighting the summit’s mission to enrich the lives of young Niger Deltans, Siasia appealed to state governments to join forces and nurture the entrepreneurial landscape.
Siasia also encouraged the youth to use social media as a tool for business promotion rather than a platform for political criticism. This strategic approach can facilitate the growth of their brands and businesses while maintaining constructive engagement.
The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) expressed its commitment to working with NDYP to unlock opportunities for the youth. Dr. Samuel Ogbuku, represented by Obayelu Patrick, emphasized the Commission’s enthusiasm for this initiative and pledged unwavering support.
Major General Barry Ndiomu (rtd), the Interim Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), urged the youth to seize the global food crisis as a chance to delve into agriculture. Ndiomu, represented by Musa Wilfred, urged the youth to innovate and think beyond conventional paths, exploring the vast potential within the agricultural sector.:
Guest Speaker Ebimoboere Enyiekpemi, CEO of Afritropic Farming and Agro Services Ltd, shared her success story, highlighting consistency as the key to success in agribusiness. She encouraged the youth to embrace agriculture and harness its myriad benefits.
The panel sessions at the summit delved into crucial factors hampering potential entrepreneurs, including limited access to funding, lack of trust, and inconsistency.
The NDYP summit culminated in the presentation of N500,000 grants to several entrepreneurs, marking a significant stride towards empowering the region’s promising business minds. The inaugural edition of the summit in 2021 and its subsequent edition in 2022 have solidified the NDYP’s commitment to nurturing entrepreneurship and fostering economic resilience.