In order to productively engage the youths of the Niger Delta region, the 2nd Niger Delta Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Summit, will hold in Asaba, Delta State on Saturday, February 19, 2022.
The event which is organised by the Niger Delta Young Professionals (NDYP), is a sequel to the pioneer edition held in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital in February last year.
A statement issued by the organisers of the summit led by the convener, Moses Siloko Siasia, said the Saturday’s event was aimed at consolidating on the gains of the inaugural edition.
According to them, the event was timely and apt, and is needed to change the narrative of the Niger Delta, by strategically engaging the youths to dissuade their minds from violence, drug abuse, cultism, and other vices.
While stressing that this kind of event was needed in the region, Mr Siasia harped that other states in the oil-rich region must now take a cue from states like Delta, Akwa Ibom and Edo in driving human capacity development.
The organisers also bemoaned that governments in the region were guilty of paying less attention to the youths and are more interested in awarding contracts, rather than building human capacity.
“Even the success story of the Presidential Amnesty Programme has not been far reached because there is no well thought-out strategic evaluation process.
“The culture of entrepreneurship is paramount to the peculiarity of the situation of the Niger Delta,” Siasia said.
Stakeholders supporting the summit include the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), led by its Governor, Godwin Emefiele, who hails from Delta State; Heritage Bank chaired by Ifie Sekibo; the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) led by Mr Effiong Akwa.
The statement added that this year’s event will “Foster increased support from partners as well as focus on the need to forge a robust partnership with the Presidential Amnesty Programme to further expand the outcome of the Niger Delta MSME Summit.”
At the inaugural summit last year, over 300 Niger Deltans who participated benefited from the NIRSAL intervention loan for small business owners.