By Obeten Godfrey/Grace Orok
The Niger Delta Development Commission Board Chairman, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba has called on youths to think creatively, be ready to put in time and effort to becoming relevant citizens of the 21st century.
The NDDC Board Chairman made the call while speaking as a Special Guest in the 2nd quarterly town hall meeting of The Dialogue with Agba Jalingo where he said: “The wealth of a nation does not reside in its natural resources, but in the youths. They are like crude and will remain a resource if they are educated, skilled and empowered; otherwise, they will become a liability.”
Senator Ndoma stated that the 21st century which is termed the technology age is flooded with several opportunities which are capable of fine-tuning the future of the youths, but this can only be achieved through creative thinking and willingness to sacrifice.
The former Senate Leader dismissed the notion that Cross River State is poor surviving only through its civil service saying “the state is blessed with resources both human and natural.”
He went on to cite the culture, tourism and the creative sector, which according to him contributes to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the State, and has also become the highest income earning sector for Cross River.
Senator Egba said public office is the highest honor people can give and urged youths to “always hold public officers accountable for their actions and inactions; as public office is created to serve the interest of the public.”
He further disclosed that the NDDC is willing to partner and support the geniuses of young entrepreneurs by providing fiber optics which will aid speedy internet connectivity for business to strive.
Concluding, he disclosed that, “NDDC is working on a world class Skill Development Center that will help promote skills, and will also support entrepreneurs by giving out soft credit facilities that will aid start-ups in the creative industry in the South South zone.”
Also speaking, a Professor of African Visual Culture and Visual Anthropology in the Cross River University of Technology, (CRUTECH) Prof. Babson Ajibade, while highlighting the existence of natural resources in the State, said that culture and cultural production is a major contributor in the creative industry.
“It is time we shifted to the creative economy which can employ a large number of Cross riverians,” Prof. Babson said.
Mrs. Umana Nnonchiri, a Lecturer of Textile/Fashion in CRUTECH maintained that “the keyword for the creative industry is skill. It has the power to generate wealth and turn youths into employers of labor. The creative industry has vast potential, ranging from Textile, Fashion, to the Visual arts sector.”
As part of the town hall meeting, there was a panel discussion which had the Director General of CallyWood, Egor Efiok and the CEO of Lovita Creations, Lovelyn Ita talk on the power of the creative and visual arts industry and moderated by Emmanuel Etim, Head of Calabar Creative Hub.
High points of the event were musical performances by Calabar born artistes, D Mac, Challex D Boss of CDB Nation, the DNA dance crew and others that thrilled participants and left guests buzzing.
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