Niger Delta youths are being advised to redirect their focus from oil and gas to palm oil.
Milland Dikio, Interim Administrator, Presidential Amnesty Programme in the Niger Delta has challenged youths in the region to exploit opportunities in oil palm business.
Addressing a workshop in Yenagoa organised by a group of ex-agitators working for sustained peace on Saturday, Mr Dikio said palm oil now sold more than crude oil globally.
He noted that besides, palm oil was the mainstay of the region’s economy prior to oil discovery in commercial quantities in 1956.
He told representatives of more than 50 youth groups in attendance to create the Niger Delta of their dreams, insisting that building a better region was their sole responsibility.
“There is the need for you to look inwards; develop your skills and improve yourselves to take advantage of the numerous opportunities around you.
“Niger Delta is blessed with immense natural resources beyond oil and gas. There is a market for every good business idea. The Niger Delta is too rich for its citizens to be poor.
“There are other sectors and markets to explore. Before the discovery of oil and gas, the region was notable for palm oil business which today sells more than oil and gas,” he said.
Mr Dikio also urged the youths to tap from the knowledge and skills of others by forming partnerships and leveraging on experiences of mentors and role models.
“It starts first by developing the right attitude and imbibing the correct values. Every youth in the region needs and should get a personal vision of themselves and determine to work with others to achieve it. If there is no challenge there is no success,” he stressed.
One of the speakers at the workshop, Terry Bagia, said there was a need for strategic partnerships in the region and urged youths to close ranks.
The workshop has: “Niger Delta, a New Market to Explore” as its theme.